Study Identifies Best International Hi-Tech Web Sites

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Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard (including Compaq Computer) and SAP are the leaders in providing language-compliant international Web sites, according to a study by Summit Strategies released yesterday.

The study evaluated all international Web sites operated by IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Dell, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, SAP and Oracle. It also audited the Web sites of additional vendors on the siteIQ E-Business Index, including Microsoft, Computer Associates, Novell, Lawson Software and PeopleSoft.

The study revealed several problems for IT vendors.

"U.S.-based IT vendors are playing much too fast and loose with English on their international Web sites," said Marty Gruhn, vice president and practice director at Summit Strategies. "Overall, we found that only three vendors -- Dell, HP and SAP -- have sites that come close to communicating effectively with their international buyers in their own languages. We believe SAP's performance in our study proves that U.S. vendors can achieve best practices in global content. The issue isn't resources; the issue is a company's willingness to do it right."

Another problem vendors face is offering global e-commerce capabilities to their international users.

The study was conducted in late July and early August.

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