Consulting firms see boom in Web follow-ups

Users struggling to get to grips with Web operations require ongoing support services from digital consultancies after launching their online sites

Users struggling to get to grips with their Web operations are demanding extra support services from digital consultancies after launching their online sites.

A string of digital consultancies have been busy for 18 months or more, helping users define and build an online presence, but many users have now realised that they are not yet ready to go it alone.

The demand has persuaded companies like Viant to begin offering "digital growth services", providing companies with a series of functions, from ongoing business management services to application management and infrastructure services to help users grow, operate and scale their Net ventures, post-launch.

"The maturing of the digital marketplace has resulted in an increased focus on longer-term business results. Merely getting to market isn't enough," said Viant chief executive Bob Gett.

Viant, whose bricks-and-mortar clients include Sears and Polaroid, has struckadealwith LoudCloud, set up by former Netscape visionary Marc Andreessen to provide these services.

Other companies offering to design, build implement and run services include IBM, Commerce Quest and Northgate.

Northgate has developed Rapidly Available Progressive Internet Development for start-ups. David Alexander, director of strategy, said, "Start-ups don't want to spend a fortune on buying kit before they have assessed the market."

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