GM Proves E-Business Matters

Derek Slater schreibt für unsere US-Schwesterpublikation CSO Online.
General Motors hat seine E-Business-Aktivitäten in den Konzern eingegliedert. Doch einen Schlussstrich zieht das Unternehmen damit nicht. Im Gegenteil: Das Engagement hat das Geschäft des Autoriesen verändert.

Quelle: CIO USA

In November 2001, the North American sales force for eGM - a groupcreated with much fanfare in 1999 to push e-business projects andprocesses throughout General Motors - was dismantled and rolled backinto GM's traditional business units. Then in February 2002, eGMPresident Mark Hogan was reassigned to a newly created post in GM'sdesign and development group; what remained of eGM was put under thepurview of GM North America President Gary Cowger.

Industry skeptics say the dismantling of eGM is one indication thatthe automotive giant is retreating from its e-business ambitions,putting aside its dotcom dalliance, and returning to the real world ofplastic and rubber and steel. "When they formed eGM, it looked likethe Internet was the wave of the future," says Paul Eisenstein,publisher of The Car Connection (, anautomotive industry e-zine. "Every company thought if it got intoonline retailing it was going to make money." Then the Internet bubbleburst. The situation at GM isn't an isolated one, Eisenstein says;other auto companies along with GM are redefining their e-businessstrategies.

However, GM executives, including CEO Rick Wagoner and CIO RalphSzygenda, say the changes at eGM are not indicative of a wholesaleretreat from e-business. "The intent from the beginning was to createa separate function for two to three years to drive [e-businesscapabilities] across GM," says Szygenda. Contrary to what criticsclaim, Wagoner and Szygenda say eGM's dismantling is a sign ofsuccess, asserting that e-business has become an integral part of thecompany's fabric.

By putting a positive spin on eGM, are Wagoner and Szygenda engagingin a bit of revisionist history? Even if that's the case, it doesn'tmatter. The dispute over eGM is meaningless, essentially a tempest inthe auto industry's largest teapot. Regardless of eGM's fate, GM'se-business initiatives have succeeded in changing how the companymakes business decisions.

Zur Startseite