Qwest wins line bid
Qwest Communications International Inc. earlier this month announced that it has won a five-year, $16 million contract from Bridge Information Systems Inc., a New York-based financial news and information provider. The deal calls for Qwest to provide high-speed broadband private line services that will be used to transmit financial information to Bridge customers.
Qwest, an Internet services provider, is based in Denver and can be reached at (303) 992-2085 or www.qwest.net.
Virtual vacation planning
VacationSpot.com, an online listing of vacation property, is teaming with Bamboo.com Inc., a provider of Internet-based virtual tours. Viewers can get a virtual tour of houses, villas, condos and other vacation accommodations. They will even be able to zoom in for a closer look at the property. To "take a look before you book," go to www.vacationspot.com.
July's dog days ushered in a slight dip in online consumer purchasing, but August brought reinvigorated spending at retail sites, according to research released recently by PC Data Inc., an Internet research company that specializes in Web commerce measurement.
Reports show that 3.2 percent of U.S. households whose members visited the top 40 online retail sites made purchases in July, down from 4.5 percent in June. August saw that figure rebound to its June level.
According to PC Data, Amazon.com Inc. held tightly to its No. 1 rank, with 789,000 projected home-based buyers. Buy.com Inc. nabbed the No. 2 position, with a projected 314,000 visitors completing purchases.Barnesandnoble.com LLC ranked third, with 289,000 projected buyers.
PC Data uses a proprietary tool to track the number of unique, home-based Web users who visit a transaction-related page in each site, counting each visitor or buyer only once. For this study, the research company sampled 67,000 home Internet users. The company reports that there are 63 million home Internet users in the country.
PC Data, based in Reston, Va., can be contacted at (703) 435-1025, ext. 162, or www.pcdataonline.com.
Ready or not?
A Cutter Consortium study released this month found that more than 20 percent of corporations have not developed a disaster recovery plan. Of the companies that have developed disaster recovery plans, nearly half did so because they consider it to be a best practice, Cutter reported.
The report, at www.cutter.com/consortium, also found that more than 30 percent created their disaster recovery plans as part of their company's strategic plans. And year 2000 planning motivated 15.2 percent to develop plans.
Cutter states that for a disaster recovery plan to work, it must be tested. More than 70 percent of the companies surveyed said they have tested their plans.
The Cutter Consortium, in Arlington, Mass., is a division of the Cutter Information Corp. and can be reached at (781) 648-8700.
The role of intranets is expanding within companies, as they increasingly take on more mission-critical applications, a recent survey by International Data Corp. found.
"User expectations have risen to a level that eclipses the notion of the intranet as a secondary information resource," said Mike Comiskey, an analyst with IDC's Internet Strategies research program.
The top uses of intranets, according to the survey, were the same as last year: information sharing, information publishing, e-mail and document management. But the survey also found that more advanced applications, such as data conferencing, were gaining more use in corporate intranets.
Other key findings indicated that more than half of the organizations surveyed had a corporate standard for a Web browser and that Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Information Server is the most widely used HTTP server.
IDC, based in Framingham, Mass., can be reached at (800) 343-4952 or www.idc.com.
Piemonte key ingredient
Raffaele Piemonte has taken the helm as chief technology officer and vice president of technology at Ingredients.com.
Piemonte leads the architecture, project management and development for the e-commerce business. Piemonte was recently a senior manager at Micro Modeling Associates Inc., in New York, and has logged more than 13 years in the computer and technology industry.
Ingredients.com's soon-to-be-launched e-commerce site will sell a line of bath and body products and home accessories produced and created by the company. The site is under development with Fry Multimedia Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ingredients.com, of New York, can be reached at www.ingredients.com.