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What does 2015 have in store for Polish e-commerce?

Even though more and more Poles are shopping online, the domestic e-commerce market is not becoming either easier or more peaceful as a result. The ever increasing level of competition means that e-stores are having to face up to new challenges.

Warsaw, 22 October 2014 ATM S.A., owner and operator of the nationwide ATMAN fiber-optic network and provider of data center services in Poland (under the ATMAN and Thinx Poland brands), will be drawing attention to and discussing the most significant challenges and solutions for the e-commerce market at the 7th e-Commerce Fair in Warsaw on 22 October 2014.

The e-commerce market is a great opportunity for companies that want to diversify their existing channels for reaching customers. However, operating in the virtual world requires a different approach than in the management of traditional sales points. It is necessary at the very least to ensure the stable functioning of websites, to be more flexible and to react faster to customer behaviours. An equally great challenge faced by e-stores today is how to optimise the costs of collecting an ever greater mass of data, says Maciej Krzyżanowski, CEO of ATM S.A.

How to meet these challenges? What trends will become dominant in the near future? And what solutions will be sought by players in the Polish e-commerce market?

Large retail chains will colocate servers in data centers

The Polish e-commerce market was originally dominated by small firms. Today things are different. Internet sales channels are being set up by large retail chains. This trend will become stronger in the near future. And following the pattern seen in Western e-commerce markets, more and more large store owners will choose to colocate their servers in data centers, which enables not only cost optimisation, but also greater security in online selling.

The cloud is an increasingly serious alternative

With increasing computerisation, more and more stores will be taking the decision to move their IT resources to the cloud. This is a qualitative change. The market has held on to groundless fears about cloud computing services for quite a long time, but today, thanks to greater awareness and positive experiences, it sees the cloud as a source of many advantages.

After moving their resources to the cloud, companies have no need to purchase server and network infrastructure, as this is made available in the form of a service. They can therefore optimise their costs (saving on hardware, energy consumption and administration services), and also gain greater flexibility, scalability, security and comfort of working.

All this is made possible by the ATMAN Private Cloud, which offers customers a dedicated IT environment, including processors, RAM, networks and disk space.

Local stores will also move online

The owners of smaller local stores have already for some time had to deal with growing competition from large chains. A solution might be for them to move their operations online. Local firms can profit from their fast delivery times and by providing a link between the virtual and real worlds. For example, a customer can order products while on the way home from work, and then collect them, ready packed, at a pre-arranged place. For this type of solution to work effectively, it is essential to have IT services adapted for those needs, guaranteeing a fast website or a dedicated application for ordering products.

An example of a service of this type is ATMAN EcoServer, which thanks to a special configuration tool, makes it possible to select the most desirable server elements, according to the needs of an individual store. Firms can thus reduce the risk of problems affecting the standard of online customer service. In the traditional model, using servers installed at firms own premises (often in unsuitable conditions), the process is more time-consuming and expensive.

In an ever more crowded e-commerce market, security is becoming the priority

The growth in the number of those buying and selling online means that priorities will include not only optimising the costs of accumulating an ever growing mass of data, but also ensuring the stable and uninterrupted operation of e-stores.

For that reason at least, both large retail chains and smaller firms that are planning or are already engaged in online selling will have to ascertain whether the data centers offering colocation, hosting or cloud computing services can promise, for instance, redundant telecommunications links and high power sources. There will also be increased demand from e-stores for solutions that provide suitable network protection, including firewalls and anti-DDoS systems, as well as data backup.

An urgent need for access to fast data transfer

With increasing competition in the e-commerce market, increased importance will attach to high-capacity telecommunications links. These enable fast and stable use of e-stores, and thus reduce the risk of losing a customer through impatience with the slowness of the site.

Until not long ago, online sales were often treated as a hobbyists field, or at best, a mere supplement to the principal channels used to reach customers. Today the situation has changed, as it turns out that large profits can be generated on the e-commerce market. The ever more intense rivalry between firms in that market, however, means that the key to success lies in a tested, high-performance server and network infrastructure, able to ensure the continuous and secure functioning of e-stores. The shortest path to such an infrastructure is via professional data centers, such as ATMAN and Thinx Poland, Maciej Krzyżanowski adds.

ATM S.A. is a Polish public company (WSE: ATM) providing innovative ICT solutions for business since 1991. Under the brands of ATMAN and Thinx Poland the company offers telecommunications services based on its own fiber networks and three data centers in Poland, with 10,600 sq m (ca. 114,100 sq ft) of state-of-the-art colocation space. Key elements of ATMs offer include: colocation and hosting, broadband data transmission and Internet access. In particular, carriers, Internet portals, traditional media and financial institutions may be found among the receivers of ATM services.
The company is the only Polish operator present in four of Europe's largest interconnect nodes: AMS-IX Amsterdam, DE-CIX Frankfurt LINX London and MSK-IX Moscow.
More information at www.atman.pl and www.thinx.pl.

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