Market Leaders Pick Their Market Leader: Who's the e-commerce boss you'd want online?

Bob Scott

Global Director of E-Commerce

Cap Gemini

MY FAVOURITE part of this job is customer contact. Being Global Director means I meet clients and keep abreast of what they need, which is quite often not what they think they want. Stretching across market sectors and multiple geographies is hard work, but great fun, and means there is no nine-to-five regime. About a third of my job is internal, a third is speaking at conferences and a third is spent with clients, shaping their e-commerce solutions. A company needs to operate solutions it has designed and implemented. The insight gained from working alongside a client makes one far more aware of the dynamics of consulting. An individual needs to be business-focused first, technically-savvy second. It is important to be aware of what technology can and cannot do, but that's mainly down to the experts; what matters is whether an idea is going to fly.

There is no single authority in e-commerce. It has evolved into such a broad tapestry that it is difficult for one company, let alone one individual, to know enough overall to be called a market leader. You also have to work with somebody and build a strategy together before you can really know them, which makes it impossible for me to choose a market leader. I think that says a lot about this industry. Competition isn't going to come from the traditional players. That's something we're going to have to contend with. Having conducted a straw poll of my colleagues at Cap Gemini, I find they are all of the same opinion.

Mark Johnson



E-COMMERCE IS the centre of the universe, a moment in history. To be participating in a revolution of the same magnitude as the telephone or printing press is unmissable. It will transform life as we know it. That's a kick. As well as surviving on four hours sleep, one needs to assimilate the technological aspects of the job and the central business issues. Daily (or rather nightly) I run KPMG's UK e-commerce practice. I develop business solutions, sell and deliver services. It is very difficult to know who one's peers are, those I know by name, I don't admire. I do respect John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems in the US, for the vision which has made Cisco the epitome of e-business; it shows how the Internet is going to change everything. In e-business as a whole, he does it better than anyone.

Bill Murray

Vice President of E-Business

Computer Science Corporation (CSC)

I AM one of three global e-business vice-presidents responsible for representing CSC, a provider of IT services, in new business opportunities. We help clients make the leap into e-business. It's like being an evangelist or agent provocateur, it's creating new things, which, as an ex-engineer, I love. We can create a solution in nine months, the time it takes to create a human being, it's magical. Creativity is important in the inception and generation of a big idea, as is ability to ground it and get a return. We should be entrepreneurial and visionary, with the mindset of venture capitalists and the ability to translate innovation into new business. Mark Hoffman, CEO of Commerce One, which does business-to-business electronic procurement solutions, is at the crest of one of e-commerce's biggest waves - the creation of large scale Internet trading places. He is certainly a visionary.

Bill Bound

European E-Business Partner

PriceWaterhouse Coopers management consultants

WHAT I love about e-commerce is the pace of change. It is intellectually stimulating and very rewarding. We're not just leading clients, we are having to change and evolve too. What is important is the ability to understand, strategically, how e-business will transform clients and industries. It is vital to understand the basic technology, in order to know what packages will help, and to balance the visionary and the technological. For these qualities I admire Hugh Jagger, a partner in Ernst & Young, and Nick Spooner of Entranet, a company which creates online commerce for blue chips.

Brendan Mullany

E-Commerce leader for Europe

Ernst & Young

DEEP BUSINESS focus is needed in e-commerce. An interest in business, rather than technologies, is important to help and understand clients' needs on their own terms. Keenness to break old rules and find new solutions is an advantage, as is focus on organisational challenges which arise as e-commerce pushes forwards. I love the job's uncertainty; not knowing what developments may take place or having definitive answers. There are always lessons to be learnt as ideas are shared with clients about how business can keep up with and benefit from e-commerce. I keep in touch with associates both within and outside Ernst & Young. Although I don't know any of my counterparts in other companies, I very much admire Michael Dell of Dell for the way he has built up his company to help others change theirs. Stan Davis, the American management guru and author of Blur, has challenged the way people think about what e-commerce should be doing and its possibilities.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

General Manager

IBM Global Internet Division

AS GENERAL Manager of the Internet division, I am responsible for communicating IBM's Internet business strategy. I spend most of my time with customers discussing strategies. I also spend time in our labs, forming a coherent market strategy and working on systems integration. It is important for an e-business advisor to convey clearly where a client needs to be going, knowing what works and what is hype. One needs to be extremely open to change, showing clients that change is an opportunity, not a threat. What I love is that I work at a time of such profound and historical change. This revolution will be viewed as one of the biggest ever changes to business and society. I love being in the middle of it, influencing the future. I admire Eric Schmidt, who was Chief Technology Officer at Sun Microsystems and is now CEO at Novell. He played a major leadership role, making things happen by pushing new technologies.

Dave Cotterill

Head of Interactive Solutions,

Cambridge Technology Partners

AS DIRECTOR of Marketing for Western Europe I cover every aspect of the business. I am most clients' first contact with Cambridge. I communicate the big picture and put the appropriate teams and consultants together. No two days are the same; there are always new challenges. Agility, flexibility and reliability are paramount. One needs a focused view of an organisation's business requirements. It is also important to appreciate the lightning speed of the industry and understand that the customer is king. This is why I respect Pehong Chen, CEO of Broadvision, who created the concept of one-to-one relationship management, and Jeet Singh, CEO of Art Technology Group, who has developed some groundbreaking products.

Jon Bains



WHEN I meet clients I try to find out who they are and what they are about. Every business is different and there are no established solutions. I isolate the elements of a business, if there are any, that can benefit most from the Internet. Honesty and the ability to cut through jargon are important. You can't talk to people as if they're morons just because they're not technically sussed. If you can't describe something in plain English, perhaps it's not appropriate. Solid, hands-on industry experience and passion are vital. What I love is that I never know what I'll be doing from day to day, but I'm doing exactly what I want to do. I enjoy making a positive difference to other people's companies. I admire Ross Sleight, formerly of BMP Interaction and now a brilliant independent consultant. It's difficult to explain, I just think he gets it. Graeme Higginson, Chairman of BritNet, which consults on and builds solutions is also to be admired.

Keith Roberts

UK Marketing Campaigns Manager and temporary UK Head of E-Commerce for Western Europe, Sun Microsystems.

EVERY DAY is different when you're helping people get started and providing expertise and advice on products and solutions. In order to put together coalitions to identify needs you need to be able to second guess a customer's requirements pro-actively, not re-actively. You have to be available to people at all times, and to get the infrastructure and key partners right. What's important for the industry is that everybody has a different perspective, and new players emerge daily. For that reason I couldn't single out one person as being better than the others.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Christine McCleave: FP&A Analyst

£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn