Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for success
Systems Modelling Ltd. http://www.sysmod.com
Welcome and reader survey
K L E Z spreads
MS Internet Explorer Security flaw exposed
More Enterprise Ireland Case studies
A UK Software package that still doesn't know about the euro
Irish Euro changeover took 8 days
European Commission reports that Euro changeover a success
Europeans happier but not yet fully confident with the Euro
Markets see UK Euro entry by 2005 as an even bet
UK Banks 'dangerously unprepared for early euro entry'
Y2K: The malady lingers on
Too helpful system reveals personal identifying data
15 Web links in this newsletter
About this newsletter and Archives
Subscribe and Unsubscribe information
We value your feedback. Simply copy and paste the
following section into a
new email message and send your reply to ISSUES (at) SYSMOD
What is the main BUSINESS challenge (strategy, marketing,
finance, people) that you would like to overcome?
What is the main OPERATIONS problem (production, sales,
distribution) you would like solved right now?
What is the main TECHNOLOGY issue (IT/IS, Internet,
software) you would like to have help with?
How relevant will the new'.eu' top-level domain be to your company? I'd be interested in any opinions from existing registrants of multiple european domains (.ie, .uk, .nl, etc)
For everyone who responds, if you would like to mention a web site you think would be of value to my readers, please let me know and I'll list them as space permits.
Patrick O'Beirne, Editor
The home page of my browser is the NAI Dr.Solomon's download page so each day I see if it's updated. In fact, I often have to update twice a week. I got a fair number of emails with Klez, so many others have not updated their anti-virus protection, and may now have passed it on to others. Some even had the cheek to announce themselves as an "immunity patch"!
Check out your system now by visiting one of these sites:
http://vil.nai.com/vil/default.asp Virus Information Library
http://housecall.antivirus.com/ Trend Micro's free online scanner
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/ Symantec Antivirus
Code injected in the url will operate in the same zone/domain as the last
the backbutton. The normal behaviour when a page fails to load is to press the backbutton.
The error page shown by IE is operating in the local computer zone,
therefore it can execute code and read local files.
Thor Larholm posted an advisory and harmless demonstrations of the flaws at his personal Web site http://jscript.dk/adv/TL002/. One example showed how the browser bugs enable a Web site
to launch programs that exist on the user's hard disk. Another demo page silently sends a message to users in the target's MSN Messenger contact list.
Microsoft's description of privacy features in IE is at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/evaluation/overview/privacy.asp
The site http://www.openup.ie redirects to the Enterprise Ireland web site. I recommend the case studies at
Today I'll look at Blarney Stone Enterprises, a husband and wife team focusing on the design, manufacture, distribution and export of Irish-themed, collectable figurines. This is again a frank case study.
Blarney Stone launched their first web site in 1995. Declan Fearon remembers: “During the first year no sales were received from the site. We discovered that the buy online feature was deficient and when we tried to purchase the function didn’t actually work!" In 1996, the new commercial web site was launched http://www.blarney-stone.com This time it worked and worked well.
They also suffered from a side-effect of the dotcom crash. Their web partner Nua had very specific requirements regarding functionality and design for partner sites hosting web catalogues. The deal turned sour when, after spending over IR£50,000 (EUR 80,000) changing their site to suit Nua’s specific instructions, Nua went into liquidation.
But rather than admit defeat, Blarney gave Solomon Solutions equity in the company. A unique deal was struck whereby the engineers would come to Dublin to work on the project. During weekends they were housed, fed and ‘watered’ in Temple Bar and during the week they worked for free. Both parties enjoyed working and playing hard, so this deal was a win win situation for all involved.
“Surprisingly many of our suppliers had little or no existing presence on the web. Either they had just a home page,
a poorly functioning site, or nothing at all,” said Declan. “This inspired me further as I realised how ahead of the
game our company was. More and more suppliers were enthused to be part of this launch and enlisted our help in
promoting their products through our own channels.”
Blarney Stone has yet to have a ‘charge back’ from any credit card company. This manual process does take time, but the diligence has paid off with no loss to date.
• only sell products to an existing customer base, don’t try and create a market
• the value of the orders should be such that the margins make sense when considering site maintenance and shipping costs
• the item should not be an enormous object of low value where the cost of making and shipping it won’t provide an adequate return
• the product should be robust enough to withstand transportation, because if it can break, it will break
• ensure the availability is there, customers don’t want to wait six weeks to take delivery of goods ordered on the Internet
• if you do have a limited customer base and a small product range, it is worth considering using another Internet channel to sell your products, rather than investing in money to build your own site.
• a site that doesn’t work perfectly can be very frustrating for customers. So, if you are going to build it, build it well and mind it like a child.
• If the site remains unchanged for any period of time, interest drops accordingly. We have to constantly promote new offers, detail new products and offer discounts to avoid interest waning.
PC Magazine UK (www.pcmag.co.uk) June 2002 page 31 reviewed Mamut Manager for Windows professional. This contact management and ecommerce tool only supports obsolete european currencies, not the euro!
The vast bulk of cash transactions in Ireland were taking place in euro and the changeover to the euro notes and coins was virtually complete by the 8th January 2002, according to the Euro Changeover Board of Ireland’s (ECBI) final Annual Report. Over €16 million was invested by the ECBI to ensure that the changeover was implemented smoothly, rapidly and with minimum disruption in Ireland.
Download this report in PDF format from:
The latest Eurobarometer survey, commissioned by the European Commission, has revealed that Eurozone citizens are generally content with the Euro but still compare prices to their now-abandoned legacy currencies in day-to-day transactions.
74% consider that prices have been generally rounded upwards;
49% want dual display to continue for longer than 3 months generally.
The survey also revealed that the changeover had gone smoothly according to 84% of respondents.
HSBC said that at the beginning of 2005, assuming an entry rate of about Pounds 0.68 to the euro - equivalent to about DM2.88 to the pound - the markets are pricing in euro entry as worth an even bet.
"The high street banks in particular risk being caught out if the Government announced a snap referendum, according to a survey by the employers' group CBI and the accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers. John Hitchens, financial services partner at PwC, said he was surprised banks were cutting back on euro-related spending in the wake of the speculation earlier this year the Government was planning an early referendum. Only 15 per cent of financial services firms surveyed by the CBI planned to invest in euro preparations over the coming months compared with 27 per cent in December.The proportion of banks and securities traders planning to set aside cash for the euro also dropped by half, while neither finance houses or life insurers was planning to spend any money at all."
I recommend that readers in the UK should visit the IPF Discussion Forums at:
*Florida Today*, 12 Apr 2002, front page
After two and a half years, Brevard County, Florida, has finally fixed the bugs that surfaced following installation of it's Y2K preparedness software in 1999. When new software became available last summer, the Clerk of Courts went through the records back to 1999 and discovered that some cities were significantly overpaid and must return the excess amounts.
During the two and one half years of buggy software, the computers were also blamed for issuance of incorrect bench warrants, mistaken judicial assignments, failure to notify jurors of there summonses, and more.
Reported on the Risks Digest
"I had reason to question the denial of a claim on our dental insurance.
I called the appropriate 800 number and ended up choosing the menu item
for their 'automated services.' The first thing they asked for was my
subscriber identification number, which the voice then said
'is usually your social security number.' I punched it in. The voice repeated it
back to me -- and then went on to spell out my name (yes, they had it
correct; OK, no middle initials, but first and last name were fine)
*and* give my birthdate. Need I say more?"
Copyright 2002 Systems Modelling Limited, http://www.sysmod.com . Reproduction allowed provided the newsletter is copied in its entirety and with this copyright notice.
We appreciate any feedback or suggestions for improvement. If you have received this newsletter from anybody else, we urge you to sign up for your personal copy by sending a blank email to
EuroIS-subscribe (at) yahoogroups (dot) com - it's free!
For those who would like to do more than receive the monthly newsletter, the EuroIS list makes it easy for you to discuss issues raised, to share experiences with the rest of the group, and to contribute files to a common user community pool independent of the sysmod.com web site. I will be moderating posts to the EuroIS list, to screen out inappropriate material.
Patrick O'Beirne, Editor
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
"Praxis" means model or example, from the Greek verb "to do". The name is chosen to reflect our focus on practical solutions to IS problems, avoiding hype. If you like acronyms, think of it as "Patrick's reports and analysis across Information Systems".
To read previous issues of this newsletter please visit our web site at http://www.sysmod.com/praxis.htm
This newsletter is prepared in good faith and the information has been taken from observation and other sources believed to be reliable. Systems Modelling Ltd. (SML) does not represent expressly or by implication the accuracy, truthfulness or reliability of any information provided. It is a condition of use that users accept that SML has no liability for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The information is not intended to constitute legal or professional advice. You should consult a professional at Systems Modelling Ltd. directly for advice that is specifically tailored to your particular circumstances.
Copyright (c) SML 2002
Please tell a friend about this newsletter.
We especially appreciate a link to www.sysmod.com from your web site!
We guarantee not to sell, trade or give your e-mail
address to anyone.
To subscribe to this Newsletter send an email to
EuroIS-subscribe (at) yahoogroups (dot) com
To unsubscribe from this Newsletter send an email to
EuroIS-unsubscribe (at) yahoogroups (dot) com
EuroIS is the distribution list server of the PraxIS newsletter. It also offers a moderated discussion list for readers and a free shared storage area for user-contributed files. The archives of this group are on YahooGroups website http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EuroIS