Open systems server: The heart of a virtual business

Does your web server manage all the functions of your growing business, in addition to serving interactive web site content and providing online marketing tools?

The computer which hosts any web site is capable of far more than just serving web pages. It can run programs and manage information just as well as the computer on your desktop. This creates the potential for automated marketing — online systems to keep customers involved, delivering unobtrusive sales incentives at appropriate intervals and automatically handling direct responses to customer requests.

The majority of web designs don't take advantage of these automation features and in many cases the employment of these features is limited by the hosting company. This is where open systems have begun to play a crucial role in marketing technology. They provide a simple and easily expandable software platform that is completely free of licensing and subscription costs, unlike the "closed" alternatives available from software monopolies.

Open systems set a new standard for marketing

Your open systems server from CoTangent can provide email and messaging solutions, file sharing capabilities, and an astonishing array of free software packages. These packages will give your customers an enriched marketing environment, project a dynamic image for your web site and Internet domain, and even manage the internal needs of your business itself.

The open systems platforms recommended by CoTangent are based exclusively on the Linux operating system due to its overwhelmingly widespread use relative to other open systems. Two hosting companies are recommended for new Linux web sites or existing sites that choose to migrate to an open systems environment. One provides a pre-built configuration to suit most online marketing needs, and the other has a completely flexible configuration allowing unlimited control over system resources.

Marketing packages create a dynamic customer environment

The notion of having to buy new software to extend the capabilities of a system has largely disappeared with the advent of Linux. The capabilities that the operating system itself provides, as distributed, are far more diverse than the popular commercial alternative for web servers. Most notable amongst the free features included with the system as it is distributed are:

(Note: this is by no means an all-inclusive list. The standard distribution of Linux ships with hundreds of packages that extend the functionality of an installation far beyond the operating system, providing an indescribably broad range of applications.)

Beyond that, if your open systems server allows you administrative access, you can search out and install any of hundreds of mature packages to satisfy almost any conceivable business or marketing requirement. Though a few of these packages come at a modest price, most of them are free. Here is a very partial listing of some packages, all free, with links to their supporing sites:

  • phpBB — online community software to create discussion forums
  • Serendipity — multithreaded blogging software and RSS feed generator
  • OScommerce: — e-commerce platform with secure shopping carts
  • mambo — large-site web content creation and management system

CoTangent can install and configure any package which suits your business, on either the more "flexible" of the two recommended configurations or on any web host to which your business has administrative access. Software installation and configuration is provided on a time and materials basis.

Open systems make virtual corporations a reality

If your business is not tied to a geographical location, such as in the following businesses:

  • writing and publishing for online and web-based markets
  • consulting, design, marketing, accounting, brokerage, and legal services
  • seminars, development of educational/training materials
  • Internet-based businesses and subscription web sites
  • financial services (investment advisory, portfolio managment)

… you can begin taking advantage of the trend that is migrating people out of office buildings and into home offices everywhere. Nearly all functions of modern businesses can be performed over a high-speed network which individual businesses no longer need to own.

In the Virtual Corporation model, the company network is the Internet itself. Supporting agents can render their services electronically through email, file sharing, and open source groupware which functions over the Internet.

The modern business marketplace is shifting towards a larger number of smaller companies and freelance agents competing for business relationships. CoTangent's marketing design services have all been chosen to strengthen relationships of this type through marketing technology— as the "boss" of yesterday becomes the client of tomorrow.

to begin building your marketing efforts around an open systems server with superior marketing capabilities, and to enjoy the benefits of a virtual business computing environment…

…or get the myth-penetrating free report that straightforwardly outlines the business benefits of open systems: The Open Systems Advantage

2004 Robert Phair

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