Focus on Intranets -- August 8, 1996

Transcript of the live chat session that took place Thursday, August 8, 1996.

These sessions are scheduled for noon-1 PM US Eastern Time (GMT -4) every Thursday.

These sessions are hosted by Richard Seltzer. If you would like to receive email reminders of our chat sessions, simply send a blank email message to or go to and sign up there.

For transcripts of other previous sessions and a list of future topics, click here.

For an article on how to make "business chat" work (based on this experience), click here.

Since the chat itself happens at a rapid pace, it's often difficult to note interesting facts in particular URLs as they appear on-line. Here's a place to take a more leisurely look. I've rearranged some of the pieces to try to capture the various threads of discussion (which sometimes get lost in the rush of live chat).

Please send email with your follow-on questions and comments, and suggions for topics we should focus on in future sessions. So long as the volume of email responses is manageable, I'll post the most pertinent ones here for all to see.

Threads (reconstructed after the fact):


Richard Seltzer ( - 11:54am --We're here to share experiences about doing business on the Internet -- particularly the World Wide Web. What works? What doesn't work? Why? What are the trends that matter? How can you/should you adapt to the Internet culture and environment?

I work for the Internet Business Group at DigitalEquipment in Littleton, MA. In that capacity, I end up talking to people from large companies about how they can use the Web for business. I also have my own personal Web page -- which is content rich and no frills -- which I do for practically nothing and draws a fair amount of traffic and attention. And I'm also a member of the Boston Computer Society.

In a chat session like this things can get pretty frantic. It's sometimes difficult to follow the threads of conversation. And there's no time to write down interesting URLs and facts. So last week, I took a copy of the raw transcript and edited it to make the threads clearer and posted it at my own little Web site so anyone could take a look. You can see it at I plan to do the same today. Barring technical difficulties, I hope to have a transcript up within two hours of when this ends. I'll post it at the same site, naming this one /chat5.html

Today we're going to focus on Intranets -- the use of Internet technology inside companies and for secure commerce between companies. You might also want to check a couple of on-going Forums on this subject. Intranet Soundings Forum at: Intranet Exchange at:

To get the conversation going in useful directions, it's best if people step forward and identify themselves and their interests.

snackwell ( - 11:54am -- Hi Richard - Jeremy Sacco from BCS here.

Richard Seltzer ( - 11:55am -- Hello, Jeremy. I understand that there's a connection from MacWorld in the BCS area. Is that where you are?

snackwell ( - 11:56am -- No, I'm at the BCS Office in Waltham. I understand things were pretty lively last week?

Richard Seltzer ( - 11:59am -- Snackwell, yes, things got very lively last week, especially in the last 10 minutes. This is an interesting medium. Often people lurk in the background, just listenting in, and then they suddenly realize that time isrunning out and they scramble to ask questions in the last few minutes.

Alan Kotok ( - 11:57am -- Good afternoon! I am a strategist for Digital's Internet Software Business Unit. I have been promoting the Internet and the Web for several years here at Digital.

Richard Seltzer ( - 11:57am -- Welcome, Alan. Good to hear from you again.

Nora ( - 11:58am -- Hi. I'm here for the chat too. I'm a site developer and a member of BCS. Hi Alan, as a former DEC person and strategist there, I'm sure your work is both challenging and interesting.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:00pm -- Welcome, Nora, what sites have you developed? Do you do it inside a company or as a consultant to a variety of clients? And just for the public Internet or for intranets as well?

Nora ( - 12:03pm -- Richard, I've worked primarilly on commercial internet sites although my main interest is in doing intranets for logistics applications in manufacturing. ... and I work freelance.

Tom D ( - 12:00pm -- Hi, My name is Tom Dadakis. I'm an Internet Consultant in CT just outside NYC. I am presently designing an Intranet for a corp. client.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:01pm -- Tom, what are the main concerns/requirements for this intranet you are designing?

Tom D ( - 12:03pm -- Mainly communication and as an information resource. In the future they may go to document sharing but they are nowhere near ready for that yet

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:05pm -- Tom -- By communication, do you mean mainly email and static Web pages?

Tom D ( - 12:06pm -- yes email and HR info. they are just beginning.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:08pm -- Tom -- Any directory services? One of the heaviest-used intranet applications at Digital is the "employee location file."

Tom D ( - 12:10pm -- We will be doing that in the future with a search engine

Robert ( - 12:02pm -- Hello Richard, I'm curious if any of the MACWorld folks have any "Intranet" comments or uses they want to share?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:02pm Robert -- Are you at MacWorld? We'd certainly welcome comments/participation from there.

Ian ( - 12:01pm -- Hi Richard - Ian here - Digital Internet Business Group - Interests - MANY

Gordon ( - 12:03pm -- Hello! Gordon Benett of Innergy Inc. here. I'm Editor-in-Chief of Intranet Design Magazine(sm), a resource for web practitioners at We created the discussions forums Richard mentioned earlier. Glad to be here.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:04pm -- Welcome, Gordon -- what do you think are the main issues/ concerns of companies designing intranets today? And what are the main benefits that companies with active intranets have found?

Stranger ( - 12:34pm -- HI everybody

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:37pm -- Welcome, Stranger, today we're focusing on intranets (internal implementations of Internet technology -- what companies do inside as opposed to their public Web sites). What's your area of interest?

Kirsten A. ( - 12:35pm -- Richard, what's the business news out of MacWorld this week?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:38pm -- Kirsten -- I'm not at MacWorld myself, though I gather that a number of today's participants are. (Actually, I'm "on vacation" at the Cape right now). Would those at MacWorld please fill us in on what's happening there?

rubidge ( - 12:39pm -- hi. just joining in from toronto!

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:41pm -- Hello Rubridge in Toronto -- please tell us something about your company and your interests (especially with regard to intranets).

Scott C. ( - 12:45pm -- Hello all - just joining in.

Intranet Commerce and EDI

Nora ( - 12:01pm -- Does anyone know if intranets are being used to more effectively implement EDI?

snackwell ( - 12:02pm -- EDI? I'm just not familiar with the abbrieviation.

Nora ( - 12:06pm -- EDI = Electronic Data Interchange = used to standardize all the transactions used in shipping intermediate and finished product. and transmit them concurrent with the associated activities.

Gordon ( - 12:09pm -- Response to Nora re EDI: I'm following the new releases by Premenos and Harbinger closely. I think you're tapped into to something big -- *intranet* commerce. The seamlessness between inner and outer webs, once secured, will enliven communications between companies and vendors, customers, prospects.

Alan Kotok ( - 12:10pm -- Nora: Not that I'm and EDI expert, but it seems to me that EDI over the "Internet" is a great way to reduce costs from dedicated value-added-networks. I suppose some security aspects need solving. But the rigidness of EDI seems a bit antithetical to the Web.

Nora ( - 12:16pm -- Alan and Gordon. ... you guys are soooo right! ... and taking it all one step further, there are many more possibilities of being much more 'customer responsive' if not truly 'customer driven.' .... and yes, having run some lengthy 'shirt sleeve' sessions negotiating EDI standards, it is rigid. ... or at least it was.

Alan Kotok ( - 12:20pm -- Nora: Regarding "Intranet commerce", my thinking goes to using the Web to "purchase" office supplies, or research reports, or the like. There are service groups within companies who could offer their wares to their internal audience, and use some of the payment methods to recover their costs. (Of course, I have an ulterior motive: to promote Millicent, our low-overhead micropayment system.)

Gordon ( - 12:24pm Nora/Alan: I think retail merchandising on the Web is further along than EDI. The security standards are more mature. SET, the Secure Electronic Transaction standard being pioneered by Visa, Mastercard and others, is pretty much unopposed. More is at stake with EDI, imo. - sactional parts of the whole sourcing, bulding, shipping and servicing sequence, and using intranets to tie together the holes that have previously existed because of systems, or platforms, that don't talk to each other. This takes costs and time out of the processing chain.

Alan Kotok ( - 12:26pm -- Gordon: I certainly agree. The question in my mind is whether EDI will survive, or will company-to-company commerce become more free-form.

Nora ( - 12:32pm -- Alan, I think company-to-company commerce will, in many ways, become more freeform. It'll split out into different categories. Making product info, specs prices etc. available to collabrative groups will be more common, .... (sort of like the "private showrooms" someone was talking about). .... but portions of it will stay pretty standardized - like if you're shipping stuff that has to file hazmat papers.

Gordon ( - 12:33pm -- Alan, EDI will evolve, but its rigidity is there by design and won't be bred out. Companies are looking for faster, more reliable transactions, but not, I think, "free-form" ones. Is Millicent targeting Purchasing dept's?

Alan Kotok ( - 12:37pm -- Gordon: Millicent is primarily targetting public sale of small amounts of information, such as newspaper articles. But given that it has ways ofhandling budgetary expenditures, it could be used, for instance, to pay forprinting services within an organization.

Tom Mfg. Mgr. SFO ( - 12:35pm -- I think most internal postings (ticketing) will be done with web-based front ends as soon as the SW is ready.

Tom Mfg. Mgr. SFO ( - 12:39pm -- Has anyone tried real transaction processing yet? Results? Pilots?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:40pm -- Tom -- Contact Steve Painter at Digital For a long time he was involved with our Electronic Connection, which is online sales to established large customers and distributors. They use the Internet as one of the means of connection to all their complex backend ordering/inventory/billing systems. Last I heard the Internet connection piece of that was accounting for over half a billion dollars of revenue per year.

Nora ( - 12:38pm -- Tom, is your company using intranets for anything, and if so, for what? .... for that matter, for the DEC people out there, what is DEC using it for?

Tom Mfg. Mgr. SFO ( - 12:45pm -- Nora - Our company uses Intranets for Sales Processsing, Order Fullfillment, standard comms stuff like electronic phone books, All kinds of internal reporting but NOT recording. Too much back pressure from the IS and Finance types to stay away from the financial systems.

Alan Kotok ( - 12:43pm -- Tom Mfg Mgr: There is a press release out in the last day or so about Digital and some other firm announcing a secure TP environment over the Internet. At the risk of violating some principle, here's the beginning of that release... " Digital - Digital, BEA team up to 'jolt' electronic mcommerce {Livewire, Worldwide News, 6-Aug-96} Digital today said it is strengthening its support for Internet-based electronic commerce by adding BEA Jolt from BEA Systems Inc., to its portfolio of Internet products and services. BEA Jolt enables customers to take advantage of the benefits of a BEA TUXEDO-based application over the "super-distributed" world of the Internet. These benefits include: guaranteed delivery; time, location, and data independence; data-dependent routing; massive scalability; platform independence and legacy integration; load balancing; intelligent fail-overand recovery; and a single development API."

Tom Mfg. Mgr. SFO ( - 12:48pm -- Alan- Thanks I'll check out the BEA info. But now that you mention it, didn't Digital announce an Internet TP product a few weeks ago?

Alan Kotok ( - 12:50pm -- Tom: I believe you are right, but I don't recall the details.

Nora ( - 12:49pm -- " Too much back pressure from the IS and Finance types to stay away from the financial systems." That is an example of a barrier, but it also a legitimate concern, since it's an area where the auditing requirements are much stiffer. It always seems easier to start at the front end, e.g. sales, and order processing, when trying to implement something. ... I would also think working with suppliers would be effective as well.

Tom Mfg. Mgr. SFO ( - 12:53pm -- Nora - We use EDI for suppliers and we use lots of WEB based customer/partner service apps. We can that Internets. Yes logging and journals and audits are the difficult issues.

Nora ( - 12:55pm -- Tom, your company sounds like it's doing a lot. Maybe you guys should do a dog and pony show at Council of Logistics Management and get the others to wake up. [s]

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:56pm -- Nora -- What is the Council of Logistics Management? Do they have a URL?

Nora ( - 12:58pm -- Richard, CLM is, or at least, used to be where all the hi tech companies went to discover cutting edge Information Systems, (and related business stuff). I imagine it's still an influential forum. am typing fast since I think everything might disappear. I'll do some searching and see if I can find a URL, and e-mail it to you.

anonymous ( - 12:59pm -- Nora email me about it. I do presentations coast to coast. While the net is my business, my leads come from doing presentations

Nora ( - 1:00pm -- anonymous, I don't think e-mailing something to anonymous will work

Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles

Alan Kotok ( - 12:03pm -- All: What do you think of the new Mass. Registry of Motor Vehichles site? My son decided to be one of the FIRST to pay a speeding ticket over the web. Unfortunately, on the first day things didn't work quite right, but we did it again yesterday successfully.

snackwell ( - 12:05pm -- Alan: sounds good to me. what other RMV functions can you perform over the web?

Alan Kotok ( - 12:07pm -- snackwell: RMV offers duplicate registrations, plans to offer renewals, has locations of offices, etc.

Logistics in Manufacturing

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:07pm -- Nora -- While intranet seems like a natural for logistics in manufacturing, I haven't heard much about actual implementations. I had thought that manufacturing companies were a bit slow in heading in that direction. Could you please share some of what you know about this? Any specifics on what companies have actually done and what quantifiable benefits have come from it?

Ian ( - 12:10pm -- Nora: Just looked at some new marketing data - Manufacturing is in the middle of the pack in terms of plans to implement internal web servers - behind Publishing and Finance organizations.

Nora ( - 12:11pm -- Richard, I'm here hoping that I _will_ hear of manufacturing efforts in this area. A lot of the efforts at client server have failed to fill the information gaps for a variety of reasons. Since the interenet is 'platform independent' a lot of the past implementation problems go away. Furthermore, with the development of a lot of the data base and client tools that are coming on stream, the necessary functionality is emerging. .... So now, if we can be effective evangelists for the possibilities, there are many, many excellent applications of intranets for the manufacturing community. In short, much of the stuff Mike Hammer talked about, is now much more feasible.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:14pm -- Nora -- As evangelist, how would you like to see intranet applied in manufacturing companies? What do you believe the benefits would be? What are the barriers? (It seems like such a natural and has seemed so for a couple years -- what's the holdup?)

Multimedia on Intranets

Ian ( - 12:08pm -- ALL: I've seen recent marketing data that shows that there is significant interest behind firewalls (INTRAnet) in multimedia applications - streaming audio and video. I think however there is low penetrationof multimedia PC's in Intranets - is there a gap between early implementors that want the bells and whistles and the real workers who have old technology - will the early applications be non - multi-media or will people upgrade for the INTRAnet?

snackwell ( - 12:10pm -- Ian: that's a common occurance - developers want to take the new technology to the max, but most users can't support it. Within a corporation, it may be more of a limitation.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:12pm -- Ian -- I'm also interested in that question. On the one hand, it seems like much of the communication on intranets can be handled with barebones solutions -- cheap boxes and shareware. It seems that you shouldn't need all the bells and whistles and fancy graphics that many companies invest in for their public Web sites. But on the other hand, the bandwidth on an intranet may well be far greater than with dial-up modems, and hence there should be interesting new opportunities for multi-media -- especially for inexpensive videoconferencing. Is anyone doing that now?

snackwell ( - 12:14pm -- On-demand videoconferncing, from any desk in the company. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure if there's enough demand.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:17pm -- Snackwell -- I'd be interested in any cost/benefit analysis of intranet videoconferencing. My impression is that we use "traditional" videoconferencing rather often within Digital, and that it is very expensive. So how many desktops in a given facility would have to be ready for intranet videoconferencing for people to begin to use that as an alternative? And then once that capability is in place, how many more times would people choose to use that communications alternative instead oftravel/live meetings, and other methods?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:22pm -- In many cases, companies face a bootstrap or chicken-and-egg problem. Lots can be done on the Web if enough employees are connected and familiar with its use. But only if enough employees are already connected willinvestments be made in Web-based applications. And only if those applications and content are available will there be incentive to make the investment in the infrastructure to get many employees properly connected.

Nora ( - 12:25pm -- also on video conferencing. .... What about things like Microsofts NetMeeting. You aren't seeing each other, but you can share documents and whiteboards. ..... This could take care of a lot of the stuff we used togather in conference rooms for.

Intranet for Training

Robert ( - 12:14pm -- Richard, I'd like to know if anyone is using their Intranet for employee training or educational uses? Thanks.

Ian ( - 12:17pm -- Robert: As you might imagine, Digital is using the WEB internally and externally for training - we are just about to roll out a partner training program - would be a good contact.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:19pm -- Robert -- Training-wise, I'm most interested in the interactive Web-based applications like chat and forums. I don't believe that many companies are making full use of that. (Most probably just distribute training materials by way of static Web pages.)

Robert ( - 12:20pm -- Ian, Has anyone with Sheila proven that intranet training is cheaper or better than the current methods? Where's the payback come from? Thanks.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:25pm -- Robert-- I suspect that it's difficult to get apples-to-apples comparisons. Some companies that say they use the intranet for training are just providing static Web pages. Other may be using interactive applications.And still others (where are they?) may be using live audio and video. The results are likely to be very different. For real training/learning to take place, you need some degree of interactivity.

Marianne ( - 12:21pm -- Robert, I know that Harper Collins was planning to include training delivery over their intranet. Also, sort of contrary to the popular notion that you can just put the information out in the intranet, and who cares what it looks like because it's just for employees...they were taking the time to jazz it up a little. Their view was that this medium had the potential to be the employees most frequent contact with "the company". And, they didn't want employees to feel like they were second class citizens.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:29pm -- Marianne -- You highlight an interesting dilemma. Low-cost plain text pages can be very effective in disseminating information over an intranet. High-cost fancy graphics might possible increase use of this information (or make employees feel more valued?) But what's the return-on-investment? Once you start with a high glitz internal image, it's hard to turn back; and by taking that approach you add tremendously to the cost or creating and updating pages -- and as a result, pages get updated less frequently, and their info value decreases. I must admit that,personally, I favorlow-tech, plain text; unless you are adding value through interactivity.

Marianne ( - 12:26pm -- Robert, there's not a lot of statistics that I've seen about the value or payback from computer based training in general (and web is another means of delivery.) However, Phil Agre's Red Rock Eater Newsletter had a forwarded article just a few days ago with someone's anecdotal story about delivery of computer based training at the college level. You can use a search engine like altavista to find the archives (or post your email and I'll forward it to you; I saved it.) The bottom line was that it was as costly to deliver when everything was accounted for, but the *quality* of the experience and what people percieved they learned was much more.

Gordon ( - 12:30pm -- Marianne: when cost analyses put "quality of experience" over dollars I tend to cover my wallet. Isn't that what happened with client/server?"Well, yes, it *is* more expensive than mainframes, but look how flexible / creative / productive / [insert your favorite intangible here ] it is."

Marianne ( - 12:35pm -- Gordon, the note suggested that costs were equal to traditional methods (most people and companies have wanted to believe that CBT - computer based training- would be cheaper to deliver. The author's point was don't underestimate the cost and care and feeding it requires--but found it wasn't more expensive and was perceived as producing better results. I agree with the cover your wallet feeling if it turns out to be more expensive without real value back. This university had committed to a 2 year pilot--and a worn out guy was reporting the summary.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:35pm -- Marianne and Gordon -- regarding "quality of experience" -- if this is a training application there should be some way to pre-test and post-test and determine whether the intranet-based solution was more effective at accomplishing the goals of the training. Then you could determine if the cost is worth it.

Marianne ( - 12:37pm -- Richard, I agree that there is a fine line between glitz/overkill and enhancing your experience. I also tend to be more on the basic content side, but I do appreciate some well designed graphics and easy to read formats. The ability to keep it maintained has to be a key concern.

Gordon ( - 12:41pm -- Richard, you're right, one could take a metric-based approach. That's a form of "wallet-covering," in a sense. It's the allure of unjustified multimedia that makes me edgy. In general I like the philosophy of your Samizdat site -- HTML the way its architects designed it.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:45pm -- Gordon -- Training-wise, I'd love to see pretests and post-tests and charging for training based on results rather than time in a classroom. I'd like to see use of RealAudio and Internet Phone for language training. I'dlike to see use of a QuickCam and CUSeeMe for fix-it hands-on product training. There's lots of good stuff that could be done that's interactive and unique. But for just plain transferring information, yes, I prefer plain text. Forget the graphics unless they say something. Make your pageseasy to update, and add to them as often as makes sense. Keep it simple. Keep it cheap. Don't lock yourself into a high-cost strategy before you know what the return is. It's always possible to upgrade to glitz once you have quantifiable results.

Nora ( - 12:45pm -- Parts of the messages seem to be getting chopped off. I was trying to talk about the fact that the standards committees (WC3?) are moving past HTML and developing seperate standards for things like style sheets (allowing DTP like layout and font control capabilities) as well as transaction oriented standards (see Microsoft's Active X Controls).

Chat and Forum

Robert ( - 12:25pm -- Richard, If you're looking at chat and forums on the intranet for training and employee use, I sure hope they work better than this 'click the can' deal. This is strange and hard to read, I think.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:25pm -- Robert -- Amen. This is about the worst chat application I've ever encountered. Believe me, there's better stuff out there.

Robert ( - 12:29pm -- What kind of things are better than this? Anything you can recommend? Who else is doing this type of intranet 'chat or forum' work? Best practices around?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:31pm -- Robert -- My favorite forum/chat software is Digital's AltaVista Forum. Version 2.0 includes chat as well as forum, and lots of other neat features (document sharing etc.) Check it at

Tom D ( - 12:29pm -- This chat function needs a threading component in order to follow the different discussions.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:31pm -- Tom -- Yes, it's very difficult to follow threads. I'll try to sort that out in an edited transcript which I'll post at a few hours after this is over.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:33pm -- Tom -- Also, keep in mind that chat and forum have interesting complementary features but no one yet has found a good automated way of bringing them together. Chat has immediacy -- bringing you all here at the same time, typing wildly and rapidly. And Forum has orderly threads. For now, the best that can be done is editing by hand to move dialog from a chat into a forum for calmer followup discussion.

rubidge ( - 12:51pm -- i think a frames version of this site would be good so people could follow the chat but submit in a different field to avoid the scrolling.

Question Left Unanswered

Kirsten A. ( - 12:40pm -- Given that Intranets are by definition private, how can companies learn from each other? Are those of you who have one members of the Webmasters' Guild Intranet Forum, for instance?

Interactive Games on Intranets

rubidge ( - 12:42pm -- i can relay some experiences using Web forum on a intranet we produced for one of our partners. We ({hype!) produced an interactive game that pits the user against the computer in a race to the top of a mountain. the user advances based on answering trivia questions. the questions revolve around operating systems and digital hardware. this acts as a fun self test and re-test module of this companies sales force, as a learning aid. it also pits people from within the organization against each other, making the game more challenging and fun.

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:46pm -- Rubidge -- Is there a URL we can connect to to see the game you mentioned? What's your company and it's URL?

rubidge ( - 12:47pm -- Richard, Hype! ( is a Web studio based. We produce interactive games and Web sites for a variety of clients. We use the same technology for producing intranets. one of the many interesting capabilities ofintranets is corporate wide training using realaudio and vdo live coupled with our interactive games as a self test module after training.

rubidge ( - 12:49pm richard, here is a url for a game we recently produced for one of canada's largest access providers ' (a subsidiary of Bell). the game questions revolve around the olympics. you have to log in first. we are keeping it live for a few more days just to show it off. it makes use of some great animated gifs. if you email me i can send you a list of other games we have produced (


Richard Seltzer ( - 12:48pm -- Looks like we're getting into an end of session scramble, with some folks who were lurking now stepping forward. Please, before signing off, everyone identify yourself, give us your email address and your URL (if you have one). And let us know what direction you'd like us to focus on next week.

Scott C. ( - 12:45pm -- Is anyone aware of any analysis of expected return of Internet advertising? CPM, cost per lead, ... etc?

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:50pm -- Scott -- Internet advertising might be a good topic for a future session. I don't have an immediate answer for you. (Gut feel -- it's mostly black magic right now; and I'm very skeptical for plain old image/brand banners. They don't seem to make very good use of Internet capabilities.)

Tom D ( - 12:50pm -- Had to take a voice call. Tom Dadakis DadaCom

Nora ( - 12:52pm Nora Ross, RBA Web Consultancy, nora@tiac.net suggested direction: use of intranets for transaction processing - both commercial and manufacturing.

Gordon ( - 12:54pm -- I'm afraid my proxy is going ballistic; haven't been able to post. In case I go down completely I'd like to invite anyone who has specific intranet experience to contribute case study info or be interviewed (phone or e-mail) for Intranet Design Magazine(sm). Reach me by e-mail at

Richard Seltzer ( - 12:51pm -- If you don't get an opportunity to put your two cents in here, please contact me by email afterwards and I'll try to add your remarks to the transcript which I'll be posting at

Everyone -- thank you very much for participating. Please tune in next week, same time. And please send me email with your followup comments and suggestions for what we should focus on next. 

Followup Discussion

Nora Ross -- re: Council of Logistics Management

From: Nora Ross <> Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 13:33:33 -0400

I really enjoyed the chat today. I haven't been on it before, and it is a little confusing, but I thought it was very worthwhile.

CLM (Council of Logistics Management) is, or at least, used to be where all the hi tech companies went to discover cutting edge Information Systems, (and related business stuff). I imagine it's still an influential forum. I kept up my membership for a while, but couldn't cost justify it as an independent.

The focus of CLM is NOT strictly I.S., but systems are usually involved in one way or another in most of the topics and themes. They also have strong ties to university and logistics research.

The way I kind of saw it, was if you could get something published in the CLM Jorunal (which is a really big deal), or be on their schedule for giving a talk, that meant that the ideas you were presenting, had a certain amount of credibility.

When I was hanging around there, CLM liked to think of themselves as "cutting edge", but I thought they were pretty conservative.

I thought Tom's passing remark about IS and the financial types being in a restraining role was interesting. Much of the time I worked at DEC, I was officially working for IS, but as a representative of business issues. Maybe things have changed a lot, but often, I.S. was a barrier to doing new things.

Anyway, doing a presentation at a CLM meeting doesn't guarantee you're going to get tons of business from the attendees, but it is a way of lessening resistance to new approaches.... and it does open up new contacts.

.... and their URL is

Nora Ross, RBA Web Consultancy

Gordon Benett -- Suggested Topics for Future Sessions

From: Gordon Benett <> Date: Thu, 08 Aug 1996 13:55:02 -0400

Despite the forum's awkwardness and my LAN/proxy difficulties, I thoroughly enjoyed today's chat. You're providing a real service to the Internet community. I appreciate it.

Here are a few topics for future consideration:

Whatever floats, I look forward to participating in the near future and hope you'll announce each week's chat on the Intranet Exchange. Thanks again --

Gordon Benett <>

Vipul Sheth

From: Vipul Sheth <> Date: Thu, 08 Aug 1996 10:56:15 -0400

I help maintain The Complete Intranet Resource Site at

I am interested in publishing/linking to your chat sessions on Intranets.


Vipul Sheth

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