June 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

Gartner and CableOrganizer advise how to choose technology

CableOrganizer.com has built many of its own e-commerce applications, but sometimes a DIY expert finds it better to buy rather than build, says CEO Paul Holstein, who will discuss technology options with Gartner analyst Gene Alvarez at IRCE next week.

CableOrganizer.com Inc. has built many of its own e-commerce applications, but sometimes even a do-it-yourself expert finds better options to buy rather than build, says CEO Paul Holstein, who will discuss technology options with Gene Alvarez, vice president and e-commerce technology analyst at research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. at IRCE 2009 next week.

“We’ll talk about the pros and cons of building your own software, buying it off the shelf, subscribing to software-as-a-service, or using open source technology,” Holstein says. He and Alvarez will discuss technology buying options in the IRCE session “The DIY approach: Why and how some retailers do it all in-house.”

At CableOrganizer, Holstein and his staff have built applications such one they’ve labeled pre-cognitive search, which dynamically configures web pages customized with content related to the term a consumer is searching for on the web. So when a consumer searches for “heat shrink” wire-covering products on Google, the web page for CableOrganizer that appears on the first page of search results will take a consumer to a dynamically generated version of the retailer’s home page with additional content and links about heat shrink products, Holstein says.

Because CableOrganizer wanted to provide better landing pages for search visitors, and couldn’t find the kind of application it needed available from vendors, it decided to build its own, Holstein says. “If it makes sense, we build it,” he says. CableOrganizer is No. 430 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

But in other cases, he has opted to buy commercially available products, such as for web analytics, he adds.

In the IRCE session, Holstein and Alvarez will address how retailers can lay out a plan for making the right technology decisions, they say. “We will discuss all of the options an organization has for its e-commerce initiatives as well as the pros and cons of each option,” Alvarez says. “Additionally, we will discuss how organizations can use a set of criteria to choose the right one for their organization. Attendees to the session will leave with a game plan on how to pick what is right for them.”

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