A recent quote from Richard Currier, the CEO of the Park City Consulting Group, puts the quest for e-business into perspective. Currier says, "E- business is not a question of destination, every astute business person realizes it’s necessary to do business on the Internet. It’s a question of journey. How are they going to get there?" Well, he’s hit the nail on the head. I’d like to share two stories about companies that have taken the wrong road in their journeys into e-business.

My first story is about a large West Coast bank that does business with one of our telemarketers. This bank recently launched Internet banking. One of our telemarketers, let’s call her Liz, has been a customer of the bank for a few years. In short, Liz is just the type of Generation Y customer that every financial institution is spending millions to attract – young, early twenties, computer savvy and at the beginning of a very promising career. Her income will rise substantially over the next few years. Liz’s paychecks are automatically deposited into her checking account and, like most people just starting a career, she’s on a fairly tight budget. The day after payday Liz logged on to her bank’s Web site to check the balance in her account and, to her shock, her paycheck wasn’t there. Liz panicked. Our payroll department quickly investigated and assured her the deposit was made. Liz then called the bank’s customer service center. After waiting the obligatory 10 minutes on hold, she finally got to tell her story to a customer service representative. By this time her patience was wearing a little thin. The customer service rep looked up her account and told her, "The money was deposited right on time and is indeed in the account." When Liz asked why it didn’t show up on the Web site, the reply was, "The Web site is updated every 24 hours. You must have just missed an update." When Liz hung up the phone her response was "That’s stupid! Then what good is the Web site?"

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