- Peer-to-Peer options
Peer-to-Peer solutions use relatively
At it's simplest level Peer-to-Peer
technology turns your desktop PC into a personal web server. You have the
ability to share,
store, retrieve and edit documents and other files on any
other device operating the same Peer-to-Peer Software - all within a secure
This page provides an overview of
various ways that Peer-to-Peer technology can be used, including:
In general, the great things about
Peer-to-Peer technology are:
- it provides real-time
- it can easily be used with
- it is public or private (i.e.
secure) as you need
- it is a low-cost solution
The possible downsides of Peer-to-Peer
- You may need to have a PC
running 24/7 to provide consistent customer service level
- Your customers
usually need to be using the same Peer-to-Peer software
systems are expected to become widely used across many business sectors staring within
the next 12-18 months.
Note that Peer-to-Peer will help you
interact with your customers and suppliers - but to take full advantage of
technology you need to consider automating your in-house business processes as
well i.e. you need to consider what processes using the peer-to-peer system can
Right now you can use free Peer-to-Peer
software to set up your own intranet or extranet. The following functions are
- Once set up the members of your
network simply "drag and drop" files into folders appearing on
their machines. Files can be text
messages (i.e. a replacement of e-mail) invoices, orders, etc.
- Customers can see any files you want
them to see, you can see any files your customers want you to see. Peer-To-Peer folders can be public or
private (i.e. secure)
- You can use other MS-Windows
applications to copy files created by desktop application directly to the
Peer-to-Peer folders on your local machine.
- You can use MS-Windows applications
to copy files from your Peer-to-Peer folders to other (normal) MS-Windows
If you combine the overall features it
is pretty obvious that right now you can use Peer-to-Peer technology to provide
a very low cost (i.e. FREE) and secure eCommerce solution for many
The constraint on the growth of Peer-to-Peer eCommerce is the willingness of
your customers to load the software on their machines. The benefits to you as a
supplier are similar to the most sophisticated of web sites
available using "traditional" database-driven technologies.
The trick to getting your clients to adopt Peer-to-Peer technology is to let
them know the benefits they will enjoy when THEIR customers begin using it. It's
a little bit like the uptake of FAX machines - the value of Peer-to-Peer grows
in an exponential way as more people adopt the technology - in the parlance of
the "New Economy" it is the "power of the network".
In the very near future Peer-to-Peer
technology will soon provide you with the ability to e-mail, fax or print any file within your
private extranet - not just copy it from one location to another. Peer-to-Peer
software is also being developed to allow you to interact with your extranet
using a WAP-enabled phone
when away from your Internet-connected PC.
Peer-to-Peer users can host their own Web site by placing files within their Public
folder. You effectively become become
your own Webmaster and your PC becomes the Web host. It's not even necessary
to know Web page design or coding - the Peer-to-Peer Web folders make any file
You can also provide web-based access to your Peer-to-Peer site for people
not using the same Peer-to-Peer software as you - although your web address is a
sub-folder of the Peer-to-Peer software vendor rather than your own company URL.
Work team members, regardless of location or company, can use
Peer-to-Peer systems as
a secure repository and collaboration tool on many different types of files, such as
schedules, presentations, budgets and more.
This should be a boon to the
Construction Industry which is notorious for a lack of co-ordination between
Teams, clubs, committees and others have
the perfect way to share confidential information and keep in constant touch
with each other using Peer-to-Peer information sharing features - including
instant messaging and Web page publishing.
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