Sunday, December 7, 2008

e-Commerce Leader Strikes Gold with .NET Architecture Based on Windows Server 2003

Case Study
GoldQuest International Ltd
e-Commerce Leader Strikes Gold with .NET Architecture Based on Windows Server 2003Posted: 04/24/2003

Since launching its eStore in May 2000, Asian startup GoldQuest International Ltd, subsidiary of Quest International (QI), has grown into an e-commerce powerhouse, generating 70 percent of its approximately US$200 million annual turnover online. Similar to other e-commerce giants, GoldQuest’s secret of success lies in its commitment to the first-class security that gives customers peace of mind. To further strengthen this commitment, the company has standardized on Microsoft .NET technology for development and systems architecture. In March 2003, it deployed Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 platform and upgraded its e-commerce site development technology to Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003. The result is a more stable and secure platform, a better customer experience, improved return on technology investment, and the ability to handle ever-higher transaction volumes with a reduced administrative burden.

Situation
QI is a diversified business group that originated from a meeting of four friends four years ago. Today it is a global success story, expanding rapidly from its core retailing business into technology investments, financial products and services, corporate investments, vacation and travel, as well as training and education. QI’s subsidiary, GoldQuest International Ltd (GoldQuest), is a leading worldwide numismatics company, supplying fine gold products of collectible value, such as limited edition coins, timepieces and jewelry.
“QI is exceptional because it takes its ethical, social and environmental responsibilities very seriously. We are genuinely committed to a vision that we call RYTHM: Raise Yourself to Help Mankind,” explains Richard E. Zinkiewicz, Director of Finance and Chief Reputation Officer of GoldQuest International Ltd “As an accountant, I have no hesitation in saying that this commitment has paid off. By remaining true to our founding vision and by exploiting new technologies to the fullest, we have grown from a small mail order firm into one of Asia’s most successful start-up businesses with the majority of our revenue generated from e-commerce.”
Four-year-old GoldQuest, QI’s flagship company, now has more than 500,000 loyal customers in 120 countries, an ever-changing portfolio of some 150 products ranging in price from US$400 to $20,000, and a network of 14 offices and numerous distributors, primarily in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. What makes it truly unique, however, is that it has enjoyed an annual growth in online sales revenue of 50 percent over the last three years to now be doing more than 70 percent of its business online.
GoldQuest thus depends to a large extent on Information Technology. It has built its e-commerce infrastructure and business model gradually, from the ground up.
“To take full advantage of the Internet as a sales and marketing medium, we had to change the way we operated,” Zinkiewicz says. “GoldQuest does not do any mainstream advertising. Instead we have harnessed the power of the Internet to create a virtual community that embraces our diverse operational interests. Our customers join this online community and become partners in our business. GoldQuest itself operates a retail sales compensation program that is similar to the reward programs offered by credit card and airline companies. We have also created an elegant, closed e-commerce currency solution to ensure the security of transactions on our site. By taking control of the payment system through our pre-paid GoldQuest eCard, we have been able to raise customer confidence in online payment and sustain our phenomenal early growth. We believe that we are now one of the largest e-commerce portals in Asia in terms of transaction value.”
By adopting an Internet-based business model, GoldQuest has grown rapidly from its beginnings as a small mail order numismatics business, established in 1998. It launched its eStore in May 2000 to exploit opportunities for Internet commerce and deepen its relationships with its customers. By mid-2001, it was doing 50 percent of its business online. Today, more than 70 percent of transactions are completed over the Internet. And as a company that had a turnover of about US$200 million in its 2002 financial year and expects turnover of US$250 million this year, this is no small increase.
The challenge now for GoldQuest is to strengthen its leadership position by continuing to make the best use of technology advances. To do so, it has standardized on Microsoft .NET connectivity software for development and systems architecture.

http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=51723

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