But, if workflow is streamlined in other areas, what about time and energy spent learning new technology, not to mention staffing businesses with tech-savvy employees? Companies engaging in service-oriented e-commerce employ troubleshooting support. In fact, PMT offers a phone number and e-mail address so resellers’ customers can speak with someone well-versed in the software who can guide them through problems.
With these types of complex customizations come equally complex hurdles in development. “Funding software development without venture capital or outside investors is always a big challenge,” admitted Ballinger. “I wrote a lot of checks in the early days without much to show for it and frankly, we hit a point where I was reluctant to invest any more into the venture.” In the end, PageDNA pulled through, garnering two high-profile deals—one with a manufacturer who needed online ordering to break business, and another with a dot-com.
“We went with a platform we knew was going to limit us in the future for flexibility,” Petrie said of PMT, “and we just had to make the hard decision to start over, and [that] was after we had about 18 months and [were] a couple hundred thousand into it ... We were able to meet our objectives with the new PMT version. It was a very painful, hard decision, but it work[ed] out to be a very good [one].”
No matter how one manages to wrangle new sales out of an industry fraught with fast-paced change, there are countless ways to view e-commerce positively. All one has to do is take a deep breath, close one’s eyes and Google.