|What prompted the Electronic Customer Support Architecture and strategy and it’s migration to become the Global
Network Architecture and Strategy?
5th day of October 2009,
Don E. Sprague
This approach is documented in the 1985 IBM Information Network Marketing Guide. Selected pages were scanned and are included in
The strategy is straight forward and very easy to understand. – In 1980, IBM was the dominate seller of computers
and software. Thousands of companies worldwide had IBM computers using SNA for their networks. Thousands of
other companies had IBM computers or competing computers using other protocols for their networks. Those
networks didn't interconnect. There wasn't even any consideration of interconnecting all networks.
A problem or opportunity:
-- When a customer of IBM needed support, the System Engineer (SE) or Program Support Representative (PSR)
would go to an IBM facility, do research and load a fix on a tape. Then the SE or PSR would drive to the customer
– Since the information was initially in electronic form, it could be delivered electronically if there were a connection
between IBM and the customer.
Step 1 of the solution:
– To establish connections between IBM and it’s customers was part A of Step 1.
– Many of IBM’s customers were also suppliers. Connecting suppliers is part B of Step 1.
– Connecting both customers and suppliers made Electronic Customer Support a two way Electronic business
solution. That was the beginning of the formal Electronic Customer Support Architecture and Strategy to deliver wide
scale electronic business to business communication through interconnections of all networks throughout the world.
– Step 2, Once IBM’s customers and suppliers were connected to a common network for electronic business with IBM,
those same customers could use the same connection to perform their own electronic business with their customers
– Step two was a simple expansion of the IBM to many to allow any to any.
– The cost benefit work had been completed for communication with IBM. The subsequent electronic Business to
Business communication was virtually cost free productivity gain.
– Step 3, While step one and two concentrated primarily on IBM and it’s customers and suppliers, step three went
after other enterprises or smaller enterprises who weren't or might not be IBM customers or suppliers. A person who
makes belts for a retailer might have just a PC. Their electronic business activity could also be conducted through the
– Step 4 consisted of connecting the end customer who is the general public who purchased anything from any
That leads to Step 5 which is the ultimate goal to allow the architect (and you) to communicate with those who he
does business with as well as friends and family along with access to a myriad information sources, applications or
This approach could have been thought of by anyone in the networking world. The government people who worked
on the early versions of the Internet could have envisioned an electronic government access strategy. Instead, they
implemented fair use rules to specifically exclude the any to any Electronic business that is characteristic of the ECS
Architecture and Strategy and the Internet we know today.
From the day in 1960 when the first modem hit the market until 1980, a wide variety of commercial and government
networks were deployed. The networking world was fractured with pockets of isolated advancements. The military
Arpanet was one of many isolated networks or network development efforts. There wasn't even consideration of a
need for a silver bullet application to bring about consolidation of all networks. That is; until that one day in 1980,
when the basis for the unifying application was originated. It was based on the singular argument I originated:
“Anything that can be recorded electronically can be delivered electronically”. From that beginning
statement I also originate the electronic customer support business and global network architecture and strategy. It
took just 5 years for the architecture and strategy to be fully engaged and to be well known in the commercial and
government systems and network world.
In 1980, I wrote the global network architecture and strategy based in part on that statement. I had awareness of the
systems and network world from many perspectives which enabled me to write the electronic customer support
business and global network architecture and strategy. I had both technical and business perspectives. I had
experience developing both hardware and software solutions as well as education and management solutions. My
perspective led me to an outlook that was in contrast to the outlook of other people in the networking world. An
analogy is related to the old saying about not being able to see the forest for the trees. Other people were basically
tinkering with technology while I envisioned building global electronic business community. One of the military Arpanet
people said something about he and his colleagues waiting for some guidance from somebody but it never came.
Eventually they adopted the commercial world approach in 1988. As the global network architect, I was known for
giving guidance to others as well being a futuristic thinker way ahead of my time seeing details as well as the big
picture. Based on my engineering background along with systems and network experience, I identified a problem and
a business solution. I specified a long term goal and a path for how to get there.
In 1984, I wrote the IBM Information Network Marketing guide. I included the ECS architecture and strategy in that
document. The ECS approach was included in various materials and became widely known in the business world.
This is just a snapshot of what prompted the Electronic Customer Support Architecture and strategy and it’s migration
to become the IBM Global Network Architecture and Strategy?
See scanned pages from the 1985 IBM Information Network Marketing Guide document the ECS business approach.
See scanned pages from announcements and news letter articles showing the success of the ECS approach.
The IBM Information Network Marketing Guide is the closes thing there is to an Internet Marketing Guide. The IBM
Information Network/Global Network eventually converted from using IBM's SNA to use IP. Thus, the IBM Information
became an ISP.
People ask who invented the Internet. Millions of people contributed. The Electronic Customer Support Architecture
and Strategy is the major innovative turning point that changed the networking world from isolated networks to fully
interconnected networks to allow any to any that we know today.
Today's Internet Business Model came from the 1984 IBM Information Network / Global Network Business
Model which came from the 1980 IBM Electronic Customer Support Architecture and Strategy.
|Internet Business Model Invention
What is the Internet Business Model? It is the concept of interconnecting all networks to allow any user on any
network to communicate with any user or user on any other network to perform electronic business and do social
networking. It is based on the statement that: anything that can be recorded electronically can be delivered
What is IP. It is the protocol that all network managers adopted. IP is like concrete on a highway. Any road surface
or technology can work on the highway.
Who invented the Internet?
The answer has two parts, Many people invented the technologies, One person invented the business model of a
shared online network to allow any to any to any. There were millions of users on hundreds of thousands of
networks while IP was being developed. In 1980, all the existing networks were isolated. That is when the Business
Model for connecting all networks was invented. All network providers adopted the business model while IP was
being invented. The Internet protocol was invented as a technology for closed government networks. Eventually,
the managers of the closed government networks adopted the existing open commercial business model.
The Internet business model began as the Electronic Customer Support Architecture and Strategy. The IBM
Information Network Marketing Guide included the business model as a marketing approach years before IP was
made available for commercial use.
See scanned pages from the 1985 IBM Information Network Marketing Guide showing the ECS business model
See scanned pages from announcements and news letter articles showing the success of the ECS model
|How to have a Secure Internet
We can not have good security if we do not know who is supposed to do what. That means, great security begins with a detailed
registration process to provide comprehensive information about each user and the connections they approve.
In the past, there were different communication methods or languages for the many Value Added networks. They all adopted a
common communication language and became Internet Service Providers. They did not adopt a common network management
structure. There is a new Internet Secure Internet Architecture that provides a common network management structure that all ISPs