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PACT OF WIDE AREA NETWORKS ON BUSINESSWhere does one start when discussing the impact of Wide Area Networks WANs on business Its been huge WANs have created an entirely new segment in the business market and revolutionized many of the current ones A person could write for days or months about all the impacts and effects WANs have had This essay will focus on three primary areas to describe the impact of WANs on business First some specific types of applications will be discussed and how they can improve day-to-day business operations WANs enable various communication mediums to exist that significantly improve the speed of business communications The telephone and e-mail are a couple of examples WANs also allow various marketing and financial applications to improve business operations Next some real world examples will be provided to show the actual impact WANs are having The travel industry JCPenney Varsity Books and Wal-Mart are just some of literally thousands of companies that have capitalized on the capabilities WANs provide Finally the importance of WANs and the benefits they can generate will be discussed Specifically the strategic leverage and competitive advantages that can be created and maintained by implementing the use of WANs will be addressed Before getting into specific business applications lets quickly review what a wide area network WAN is Ray Hunt and John Vargo define a WAN as A telecommunication network allowing connection of computers peripherals and other devices such as telephone and fax that are at a distance from one another 1996 p 463 WANs extend across geographic boundaries such as streets cities states and even countries into the public domain where anybody can use them Hunt Vargo 2000 By allowing anybody and everybody into the public domain WANs opened a completely new market for businesses that was previously not available to them As a result WANs grew larger and new communication methods and business applications were developed to capitalize on the
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