Web sales make big bucks for Big Blue

E-business means easy money, Gerstner tells analysts

IBM claims that doing business digitally has added $20 billion -- around a quarter of Big Blur's annual revenue -- to its balance sheet. In the first quarter of this year alone the company said it did $4.5 billion over the Web. Telling financial analysts the good news in New York yesterday, IBM CEO Lou Gerstner must have been swollen with pride as he spoke of Big Blur's metamorphosis into an "e-business". Perhaps it is just a coincidence, then, that at about the same time as Gerstner was delivering his carefully crafted messages, Michael Dell, head honcho of Dell Computer, was giving a masterclass on how to flog things on the Web. "Ingredients to a good ecommerce strategy include diving head first into the Internet, avoiding channel conflict, and realigning the sales force," Dell is quoted as saying by CNet. No doubt he also mentioned, although in passing, that Dell makes $14 million a day flogging its kit over the Web. He also used his speech at the Network+Interop show in Las Vegas to have a subtle dig at his competitors including Compaq and HP, reported CNet. ®

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