Technological Systems in its Business
Most people think of Amazon.com as an online bookseller. Amazon does, of course sell booksùa lot of them, in fact. But what Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, says about the company reveals a much bigger picture. ôWe really are a technology company; thatÆs mostly what we do,ö he said in a CSE colloquium in 2002. (Amazon.com: Differentiating with Technology, 2002). Amazon uses technology to differentiate itself from all of its competitors. As Bezos puts it, ôWe not only let customers find products but let products find customers.ö
Amazon.com is unique in its market in that it is constantly using technology to find new ways to bring the products to the customers. One of its techniques is personalization, a way of identifying who the customer is and recognizing him every time he visits their online store. The system remembers the customerÆs interests, keeps track of his purchases, and suggests new products consistent with his past purchases. If the customer forgets having bought a particular CD and starts to buy it again, the web site reminds him, ôYou bought this item onàö and lists the date of purchaseùjust in case the customer is buying it again by accident. Jeff Bezos believes you can never go wrong by providing good customer service. (Amazon.com: Differentiating with Technology, 2002).
AmazonÆs vast technological empire is not without its problems, however. With all of the cutting-edge technological groundbreaking that Amazon does and the fact that it is constantly trying to find additional outstanding technological gurus to people its staff for more state-of-the-art developments, with the huge customer base, and its mega-sales, Amazon still has to put its pants on one leg at a time like everyone else, so to speak. Although Amazon doesnÆt seem to wrestle with too many problemsùthey systematically test their system every time they change an algorithmùthey do have...