or contact the Electronic Privacy Information Center (www.epic.org) or the Online Privacy Alliance (www.privacy alliance.com).
of corporate Website infrastructure services. (Prices start at $349 for the first year, renewals are $249.) VeriSign also provides an additional level of security that requires authentication before customers can access previously input information, minimizing impostor access to your client data. Sites using VeriSign’s Server IDs are noted by the VeriSign security seal.
FORGING STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
No one is an island. And that certainly is the case in virtual space. Strategic alliances have been forming in record numbers for the purposes of increasing online sales and enhancing corporate brands. A strategic alliance can be a simple collaboration on a single project or a long-term union between two or more companies to add value to each participating company’s products or services.
Many so-called strategic alliances are honor-based agreements between companies. Typically, Company A provides one service and Company B provides another to fulfill a contract. Or, Company A agrees to market Company B’s products in exchange for discounted or bartered services.
A strategic alliance is defined as a formal joint effort between two or more firms to market a product or service for a profit. “The combined effort should exploit a perceived market advantage,” says Stephanie Ardrey, principal of Ardrey Associates International. “It is important for strategic alliances to provide clearly defined benefits to all parties involved. And, it is vital that the strategic alliance has specific goals and an exit strategy.”
Unlike a full-scale merger, a strategic alliance brings the strengths of two or more firms together for a predetermined period of time and for a clearly specified purpose. Each company benefits by broadening its market base, concentrating on its strengths and sharing the overall–and possibly, reduced–risk. Affiliate marketing programs are a form of strategic alliance.
SuccessNet and AztecaNet, two Los Angeles-based minority-owned Internet service providers (ISP), formed a strategic alliance that saves them several thousands of dollars in operating costs each month. The founders of the two companies realized that each company had access to dial-up lines needed by the other so they combined their available lines, decided to share an office, and are now able to target an international audience.
Another minority-owned ISP, Atlanta-based Nubonyx.com, has formed strategic alliances with several minority-owned