e-commerce Surfers at work Critical lessons On-track Critical steps Strategie actions Integrated solution What's NewS Issue 5 August/September 2000 In the end, the pilot program serves as a strategie stepping stone in developing RI's 'e-plan' of action. Creating, implementing and evaluating these pilots gives the eCommerce team concrete signals, telling them if they're heading down the right road, or if a new approach is needed. 'Of course we have to be selective about the pilots we design,' explains Sabina Goertz, director of eCommerce. 'Since we can only work with a limited number of clients, it's important that we choose ini- tiatives that will add value to both the cliënt and the bank. But no matter how successful the pilot is, we learn from the experience. We're functioning on an ex- tremely steep learning curve - and we, as well as the cliënt, face a certain amount of risk. But in the end, we see what our clients need, how to offer them these ser vices and how we're going to best position the bank in the e-marketplace.' While deciding on plans of action is a ma jor task, another is simply managing ex- pectations. According to Goertz, one of the major obstacles the team faces is that clients are not always sure of the services the y want. They vaguely know they want to go 'online', but they're often not aware of the real actions that need to take place to turn their plans into reality. 'We get very few concrete questions,' Goertz ex plains. 'So, it's crucial that we keep track of what's happening in the market. Not only do we see what the competition is doing, but we develop a better under- standing of our clients' needs. We're part of an on-going process and it's our job to translate the needs of the market into di rect actions.' But the 'human' side is only part of the equation - before a fully integrated inter national network can go to the web, cer tain technical steps need to taken. For ex- ample, an online seller receives a request from a buyer. Two key elements in the transaction are verification and authoriza- tion. First, how can the seller verify that the buyer is who he says he is? And, how will the seller ensure the buyer is autho- rized to perform the transaction? This is where an online trust broker comes into play, establishing that the information provided by the buyer is legitimate - and securing safe, expedient transactions. While this kind of structure is not yet in place, RI's tech teams are working hard to solve this and other issues (see related arti- cle). It's expected many of these 'e-stan- dards' will be resolved in the near future. 'But again,' Goertz adds, 'we can't move full speed ahead until these fundamental e- security links are put in place. To make the real e-marketplace revolution happen, we depend on these basic mechanisms. Until then, we're dealing with some very small and basic web-enabled transactions.' In recent issues, we asked you to teil us about your favorite sites to visit on the Net. Here's a brief suntmary of the results: From Peter Sugarman: 'The key to surfing the web is a good search engine.'Try these: www.google.com www.ussc.alltheweb.com ical searc www.northernlight.com www.completeplanet.com www.reuters.com www.gtnews.com •farms.com www.agroweb.com www.agriculture.com •profiles.wisi.com/profiles/food.htm Be sure to visit the growing number of sites we've created ourselves - they offer lots of useful newsand info: www.rabobank.com •www.rabobank.nl www.rabobankgroep.nl www.rabobankgroup.com www.vtraction.com Mare Baselierssuggests: www.cfo.web •www.bloomberg.com (numerous branches have also posted their own sites) To contribute your web-tips, please email Mirjam Diepenbrock. In the meantime, work contittues to stay aboard the speeding train of e-commerce, At the F&A workshops in late June in Scheveningen, the eCommerce team out- lined a strategie plan for the short-term. Understanding clients' needs: Sabina Goertz Leveraging RI's position as the world's top F&A bank, the following points were out- lined: offering corporate and investment bank ing services and products on the Inter net; extending and commercializing F&A knowledge for online, real time global consumption. Initiatives include: F&A news and data on the web; in-depth strategie research, special sector infor mation and customer analysis; and supporting clients in establishing new exchanges, and entering strategie al- liances to provide a common, integrated platform to F&A marketplace and to of fer a complete package of finaneial ser vices to F&A exchanges. In the end, a crucial element of any suc cessful strategy is that it fits into and complements the existing organization. 'The last thing we want to do is create a framework alongside or independent of the organization,' Steffen stresses. 'In or der to efficiently enter the e-marketplace, we need to work within the existing structure. It's essential that we use our resources to confidently and coopera- tively take RI to the next level in e-com merce.' What's News will be monitoring developments closely and informing you of e-updates as they happen.

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

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