Date : December 04, 2001
Time : 06:30 PM – 07:00 PM
Station : NECN Cable
Location : Boston
Program : New England Business Day
R.D. SAHL, co-anchor:
Think of all the ways we use the Internet at work. Well, the wizards of the Web tell us to take another step to focus on the next generation of the Internet and what that will mean for our businesses and our personal lives. Doing that requires a bit of attitude, net attitude, and that is John Patrick’s job. He’s vice president of Internet technology at IBM, and author of a new book titled “Net Attitude: What it is, How to Get it, and Why Your Company Can’t Survive Without It.” (Visual of cover of “Net Attitude”)
John, thank you for coming by this evening.
Mr. JOHN R. PATRICK (Vice President, Internet Technology, IBM): Nice to be here.
SAHL: One of the points you make is that an important part of net attitude is how we define our relationship with the Internet. What do you mean?
Mr. PATRICK: Well, the Internet is becoming very personal, very natural, and as the speed increases, and in particular as we become always on, that is we don’t have to log on anymore, it just becomes a part of our life, and our propensity to use it will increase significantly.
SAHL: And for companies that have gotten into the business of e-commerce, the important thing here is to think of the Internet as not an adjunct to what you do in your regular business, but as really the defining portion of it.
Mr. PATRICK: Exactly. For it to become fundamental. Today there are a lot interesting Web sites where you can get great information. You can click here to buy, and can click here to do, but most things you can’t click here to do. You have to call, or mail, or fax, or send forms, and so the opportunity is very much in front of us. There’s a lot to look forward to compared to what we’re able to do today. We’re really only about five percent into the real potential that the Internet offers to us.
SAHL: And looking ahead, you refer to something called the NGi, and we want to show you those letters because they’re of significance they way you define them. The N and the G are capitalized, the I isn’t. What are we talking about here?
Graphic on screen:
Mr. PATRICK: Well, the focus is on what’s coming, what’s next. We’re about five percent into the way of the Internet and what it has to offer. The Internet I is not capitalized there to signify the fact it will just be sublimated. It will just be everywhere. We don’t log on to the power grid to use our toaster. We won’t log on to the Internet anymore to use it’s great capabilities. It will just be–be there, a part of our lives, and soon we’ll be able to see a much broader range of capabilities. For example, to be able to reserve a hotel room on the Internet, which you can do today, but then just check a box and say I’d like to pay for that with the frequent flyer miles of some particular airline. So what we’re moving into is an era when we will see a much broader degree of integration across businesses so that they can offer not just click here to buy, but click here to do anything and everything that’s part of your relationship with them.
SAHL: Is that going to be a tough leap for some businesses? Can you teach old dogs new tricks?
Mr. PATRICK: You definitely can, but it requires a new way of thinking. It does require, I think, talking to kids quite a bit, asking them what’s on their mind, how do they think the Internet will be part of their lives over the next few years, and to incorporate sort of an outside in kind of thinking as opposed to a control orientated inside out thinking, which has been very successful in the past, but in the world of the Internet, the power gets moved out to–to you and me and to purchasing agents of companies. So companies need to respond to that.
SAHL: John–John, finally, I have to ask you about this. You do not fit sort of the stereotype of an IMBer. No white shirt, no business suit, sort of a free form kind of guy. How–how do you and IBM interface? What–how do they sell what you do?
Mr. PATRICK: Well, I don’t think there are any stereotypes at IBM anymore. I–I–I certainly hope not. The company is very focused on e-business, and in particular helping our customers get connected to their customers so that they can be very effective e-businesses, and that’s what we’re all about is helping our customers become great e-businesses.
SAHL: All right. Thanks very much, John Patrick, vice president of Internet technology for IBM.