Action on the Show Floor - A UniForum '97 Report

Demonstration Shows How a Typical Enterprise Could Run on the Web

By Don Dugdale


A demonstration of an Internet-enabled enterprise was part of the exhibit mounted at UniForum '97 by Cambridge Technology Partners, a professional services firms based in Cambridge, MA. The firm's demonstration, Enterprise@Web, showed how the various functions of a fictitious timepiece vendor called ClockWorks could be centered on the Internet and company Intranets.

The exhibit was one of many at UniForum '97 that featured online, Java-related and Internet-related technologies. Internetworking and specifically enterprise connectivity through internetworking were central to generating the pulse of this year's UniForum show floor.

Cambridge Technologies set up Enterprise@Web to demonstrate how any such enterprise could utilize Internet and Intranet technologies to run most aspects of its business. Products of various software vendors were employed to give the company several ways to interact with each Web site visitor. An attendee at Cambridge Technology's large, accessible show area was able to walk up to a terminal and easily page through the various Web sites set up for ClockWorks and interact with them. The company's home page allowed the customer to go through a product catalog, order products, check order status, find answers to frequently asked questions, or apply for a job. The product catalog was dynamically generated from internal marketing systems using Lotus Notes and Domino Web server.

To transact business on ClockWorks' Web site, consumers had to fill out a registration form, giving ClockWorks purchasing, demographic and marketing information about its customer base. ClockWorks then used Trilogy's Selling Chain application to allow customers to select, configure and order products directly over the Internet. Selling chain is built using Java and provides secure electronic commerce with a Netscape enterprise server using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security protocol.

The make-believe company was also able to use Lotus Notes and Domino to maintain an updated calendar of marketing events, and work collaboratively to craft marketing programs and surveys. Arbor Software's Web Gateway and the Essbase multidimensional database were employed in ClockWorks' planning and analysis application, in which information from various sources is consolidated to give managers a dynamic customizable report for inventory, budgeting, ordering and sales via the Web.

"Enterprise@Web represents the most important thrust in information technology today," said Malcolm Frank, vice president of marketing for Cambridge Technology Partners. "It's leveraging the power of the Internet to fundamentally improve the way companies do business. The pavilion shows how organizations can rapidly implement strategic Internet solutions. For IT decision-makers under pressure to put Internet-based strategies into action, Enterprise@Web is a vital exhibit."

Other applications used in the demonstration included an Oracle database, Open Horizon secure middleware, and UP.Phones from Unwired Planet for wireless access to information by the remote sales force.

In addition to Enterprise@Web, Cambridge Technology Partners has created the Cambridge Information Network, a Web-based advisory service that helps solve problems CIOs face. Those include too much information, not enough insight, and not enough time. CIN acts as an information filter, providing an editorial focus and a pragmatic, real-world view of the key issues facing the CIO. CIN also serves as a community for CIOs where they can turn for peer-to-peer guidance and problem solving, benchmarking information, and career insight. CIN's features include on-line events and interviews, insight on technology strategy, help with "people" issues, columns, surveys, news and analysis.


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