Sunday, July 15, 2007

Assignment 3

I chose to research uninterruptable power supplies, specifically for computer and communication systems. lists 30 companies as supplies for Computer and Communication System UPSs.

Sadly, I must admit that I thought I would be getting an easy topic, but I am definitely not an electrical engineer. From all thirty websites I am inundated with detail specifications that are way over my head. I had always thought UPS were pretty easy, just a big battery, but I am sadly mistaken. If I may quote “The secondary windings of the output transformer form a zig zag pattern from neutral cancelling triplen load harmonics.”

I don’t have the slightest clue what that means…

Anyway, the market for industrial UPS is huge. There are so many choices it is crazy. There is a pretty good range of ordering styles available. Some websites allow you to order right online while others require you to fill out a quote request and then a sales representative will contact you. Some companies will send catalogs and other do not even have websites registered with In fact, only ½ of the companies listed have websites, and those with websites range from very well thought out and designed websites to the simple plain and boring sites of the old internet.

In terms of e-commerce, the market seems to be fairly sizable with plenty of competitors. It was hard to find prices on some websites for the heavy gear, so I imagine the sales model is differentiation based. GE’s product guide has an entire section on service and how easy they are to service. Another quote from “GE is committed to the highest standards of quality and customer satisfaction. It is not enough to simply sell the best products. That is why GE also strives to help its customers realize the full value of the products they purchase by providing value-added applications and maintenance services.” is an entire web based application that lets you input your current equipment and run time needs and it will recommend a UPS from Tripplite that will meet your needs.

I do think the web has enabled consumers to better find the right product for them, that is, if they can understand the jargon. Some companies have embraced e-commerce for business while others seem to be just following along so they can say they have a website. The general B2B e-commerce availability does seem to be lacking however.

My PowerPoint presentation

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