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Lies, damn lies and…E-commerce revenue predictions

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Market researchers are having a field day with e-commerce predictions. Last week e-Marketer said online retail sales for the year reached $4.5 billion and provided it's own prediction for future growth over the next couple of years. This week, those heavyweight researchers, Forrester, said that Internet Commerce could reach $3.2 trillion in 2003. Next week, no doubt, there'll be yet another prediction as the crystal ball gazers carry on making a living out of conjuring up numbers. If dollar prediction fatigue is setting in and the thought of yet another e-commerce survey fills you with such loathing that you'd rather run the risk of peddling PCs in China and face the risk of execution, help is at hand. Well, sort of. For instead of predictions, two companies have come forward and are actually revealing some "real" figures. Computacenter -- the largest UK-owned distributed IT systems and services company -- has said that it has (note, HAS) conducted more than £450 million of electronic business over the last year with more than 320 of its corporate customers. According to the company, this represents more than 40 per cent of Computacenter's sales. Even Big Blur has put some meat on the bones of its recent announcement that it is conducting $10 million of business a day online. In January this year, e-commerce generated $37 million for IBM, it claims. By October, this figure had climbed to $245 million -- or $8 million a day. $37 million -- or approximately 15 per cent of October's revenue was generated in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), drawing primarily from enterprise customer e-sites and ShopIBM, the company's own Net store. It even goes as far as providing a breakdown of where the numbers come from -- albeit basing it on the predictions for this month. "We expect that approximately 21 per cent of December e-commerce revenues will be generated through e-sites with large customers, 34 per cent from OEM partners who are buying SSD hard disks and storage systems, 34 per cent from extranets with Business Partners, and 11 per cent from ShopIBM on ibm.com," a spokeswoman said. Now, that didn't hurt, did it? ® Survey: online sales top $4.5 billion" IBM PC martyrs meet untimely end

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