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

Partner

KPMG

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

Chairman,

Lateral

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.

Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Directory, ITIL, Reuter)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?