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DEVELOPMENT–Smithsonian Documents High-Tech History

Collection Includes San Diego Company’s Internet Business Solution

A museum piece often is defined as something that is out of date. That’s not the case at the Smithsonian Institute.

The museum is documenting high-tech history in the making.

On April 3, several local organizations will be part of the 2000 Information Technology Innovation Collection presented to the institute in Washington, D.C.

The collection, which will be part of the National Museum of American History, includes more than 440 technology applications from 38 states and 21 countries.

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– Leaders Nominate

Collection Candidates

As part of a Computerworld Smithsonian Program, a panel of 100 industry chairmen and chief executive officers nominate companies and organizations that have had a positive impact on society to be included in the 2000 Information Technology Innovation Collection.

By submitting certain materials to meet program requirements, nominees become Computerworld Smithsonian Laureates and candidates for the annual Computerworld Smithsonian Awards.

San Diego-based American Digital Network (ADN) is only 5 years old, and already one of its Internet business solutions , eStoreManager , has caught the attention of the program. After submitting a case study about the application and meeting other requirements, ADN earned a place in the research collection and an opportunity to garner a Computerworld award.

ADN released eStoreManager to the public in November, but ADN created it long before that.

About two years ago, the service evolved in response to ADN’s working relationship with Los Angeles-based ArtistDirect, an online music company, according to Jeff Anderson, senior software developer for ADN.

– Demand For

Online Stores

“ArtistDirect commonly needed stores to be created quickly and they needed a large number of online stores,” said Anderson, who headed the effort that evolved into eStoreManager.

Creating each store individually was expensive to both companies, he said.

“There was great motivation on our part to reduce our overhead both in time and money,” Anderson said.

So, ADN essentially created a template that could be used to create a fully functioning E-commerce site in minutes rather than days or weeks, he said.

Once the company could meet ArtistDirect’s needs, ADN decided to offer the service to other businesses for a monthly fee, according to Rick Ono, ADN’s vice president of marketing.

While ADN handles the technology aspect of an online store, merchants can run the site, as they would a store, Ono said. Clients can stock items, change prices, track sales and perform other retail tasks.

– Nominating

The Application

Craig R. Barrett, president and CEO of Intel Corp., nominated the application to be a part of Computerworld’s research collection after seeing ADN’s work with ArtistDirect.

Barrett was part of a 100-member committee that nominated applications as part of the Computerworld program. Members selected what they considered to be the best examples of technological innovation, according to the Computerworld Web site.

“The program is specifically dedicated to identifying the men and women, organizations and institutions that are leading the information technology revolution, and to capturing the history of their impact on their world in the written word, photographs video and other appropriate media,” according the museum’s Web site.

The museum collection offers researchers access to almost 3,000 case studies of information technology applications, stated the site.

The program was created in 1988 and tries to capture a yearly snapshot of the industry, said Simone Ross, Computerworld’s director of the collection and program operations, via E-mail.

“It’s important to have a program that recognizes and documents history in the making for this industry because it moves so fast,” she said.

In addition to building a research collection, the Computerworld program aims to recognize technological innovations through the awards program.

“I think for many of the people and companies being nominated, this is also a very personal experience. For many, it offers validation of their work. Often these people may not get recognized at all,” Ross said.

ADN is nominated for the Computerworld Smithsonian Award in the media, arts and entertainment category for the company’s work with ArtistDirect, Ono said.

Award finalists will be announced April 15 and winners will be named June 5 in Washington, D.C.

– Company Acknowledged

For Enabling Businesses

The program site acknowledged the company for enabling “small- and medium-sized businesses to effectively take advantage of the growing Internet economy.”

Even though eStoreManager can be scaled to any size business, Anderson said that the service is especially helpful to smaller businesses that feel the development of an E-commerce site might be too expensive. Site development can cost thousands of dollars, he added.

Currently, about 50 merchants use the service, Ono said. Most are small- to medium-sized businesses.

Although the company would not release their revenues, Ono said that eStoreManager accounts for 30 percent to 35 percent of the company’s revenues.

While the majority of ADN’s customers are in San Diego, the company hopes to gain national exposure by being a part of the research collection, Ono said.

“Getting this type of exposure is really a great opportunity for us to really expand outside of San Diego County,” he said.

Candidates for Computerworld Awards

Local candidates for the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards include the following:

– American Digital Network Inc. in the media, arts and entertainment category for their work with ArtistDirect.

– Kinderview.com in the education and academia category for their Internet viewing system.

– The Lemon Grove School District in the education and academia category for its Project LemonLINK.

– Pyxis Corp. in the medicine category for their Medstation Rx System 2000.

– Qualcomm Inc. in the business and related services category for its OmniTracs program.


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