Dun & Bradstreet exec says 'digital
play big role
July 25, 1996: 8:50 p.m. ET
CNNfn - Netscape to
software abroad -
July 16, 1996
The Clipper Chip
New York (CNNfn) - The Internet was touted first as an
information highway, and everybody came along for the
Now users are waiting for caravans of trade to trundle
over that highway, and Frank Fitzsimmons, vice-president
of electronic commerce at Dun & Bradstreet, is convinced
that their approach will be sooner, rather than later.
Speaking on CNNfn's "Digital Jam," Fitzsimmons said
that there are two big impediments to making the
major vehicle for commerce. They are the difficulty in
finding one's way through the wealth of information there,
and the fears of transmitting sensitive information
credit card numbers over the Net.
Both, he predicts, will soon be solved. Major progress
is already being made as major companies cooperate to find
a common standard for commercial encryption.
"Anytime you can get VISA, MasterCard, IBM and
Microsoft to agree on a standard," he said, "I think you
know the industry is ready to move forward."
Though Japanese companies are trying to maintain a
separate standard for that country, Fitzsimmons sees a
universal standard being settled upon soon. (59K AIFF)
"There is always a national competition for
he added, "but the market will comment on those
Naturally, he expects D&B to play an important part in
their development by working with "digital certificates."
Fitzsimmons likens these to "drivers licenses in
Cyberspace-- packets of information derived from D&B's
database of 40 million businesses that would provide the
information and security businesses demand to deal with
each other in Cyberspace.
In fact, the experience of dealing with such a huge
database is what makes Fitzsimmons feel confident about
handling the amount of data now on the web, estimated at
150,000 to 200,000 corporate home pages.
But while business-to-business dealings will most
likely remain D & B's bread and butter in the future,
Fitzsimmons said that providing consumers information
about local companies, such as the parking garage they
is an increasing part of its revenue stream.
"We've started after that market and it's a very
market to us," he said.
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