E-Biz Brains Standing By—Give Us a Buzz

Whenever I'm asked to define the focus of eWeek's eBizStrategies section, I begin with one simple idea

Whenever Im asked to define the focus of eWeeks eBizStrategies section, I begin with one simple idea: Managers building e-business enterprises learn the most from other managers doing the same thing. Journalists and pundits are a dime a dozen. But theres nothing quite as credible as an e-business manager talking about his or her lessons learned in the trenches.

As compelling as such accounts can be, however, theres also something to be said for the perspective you can get from—dare I say—consultants, the people who help those e-business managers execute their strategies.

I agree with those who say there are too many IT consultants who deliver far too little value and charge way too much. But I also believe there are a few who can bring unique insight to any IT strategy issue. Thats because consultants who work with a variety of top-tier clients have the opportunity to put a problem or question you may be facing into perspective, to say whether other enterprises are struggling with the same issues and how theyve coped.

Ive met a few of that ilk—which brings me to the real reason for this column: to introduce a new feature in this section, a column by a collection of consultants, each of whom is an expert in an important domain of e-business. A column in this very space, called The Hot Line, will plug you into one of these experts every week.

The Hot Line lineup will consist of a rotating group of experts. One security expert, Dave Thompson, is the former CIO at DARPA and is now a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Our other security expert is Bob Geiger, president of info-defense.com, a security consultancy. Writing about system and network architecture will be Jody Patilla, vice president of the Centers of Excellence at Atlanta-based consultancy METASeS. Focusing on e-business legal issues will be Ari Kaplan, a corporate associate with the law firm McDermott, Will & Emery, in New York. Writing about e-business metrics will be the estimable Howard Rubin and his associate Margaret Johnson, both of MetricNet.com. And, finally, writing about customer relationship management will be Barton Goldenberg, president of ISM Inc.

I trust this collection of e-business experts will enrich your understanding of e-business. Let me know if you have issues youd like our Hot Line experts to address.