Netscape Communications Corporation announced that J.C. Penney Company, Inc. is using Netscape software for its corporate Intranet and its Internet site. JCPenney utilizes Netscape clients, servers and commercial applications as a platform for building next-generation, online applications for its Intranet and its year-old Internet home page .
The JCPenney Intranet, known as jWeb, was launched in April 1995. jWeb includes dozens of internal Web sites, created for and by employees and departments around the company. Applications and information ranging from company background to operations manuals are available to employees on the JCPenney corporate Intranet. JCPenney currently licenses Netscape Navigator(TM) client software for nearly 30,000 corporate employees and in-store associates. With Netscape Navigator as a standard client on the desktop, employees have easy access to a host of sites around the company.
"Our goal in developing our Intranet was to enable communication with close to 200,000 associates around the country in a very easy way. That is the real value of our Intranet -- it ties our company together," said Steve Wolff, manager of electronic communications at JCPenney. "We are using our Intranet -- and Netscape technology is one key component of that -- to help us build a community within the company and to strengthen that community. We call our employees 'associates' and now we are using the Intranet to pull everyone together even more and consolidate the kinds of communications we've had in the past."
"Like all successful companies, JCPenney continually strives to find ways to reduce costs. The company's challenge is to eliminate redundancies and increase the efficiencies its networked computer system can provide," said Mike Homer, senior vice president of marketing at Netscape. "JCPenney came to Netscape originally with the simple need for client software that could be implemented quickly. In the year since, the company has taken advantage of existing network resources combined with Netscape technology to meet the challenge of reducing costs and improving communication."
The JCPenney Intranet, jWeb, has many existing sites and new applications in the works. The goal is to allow employees within departments to publish important content and to enable communications within departments using a minimum of paper. Intranet users can find a variety of information from various departmental sites. Departments use the Intranet to explain to geographically dispersed employees about the services they provide. In addition, jWeb contains historical information about the company, organizational charts of departments, various reports and operations and procedures manuals. Electronic bulletin board sites and online registration for training are also available on the Intranet. Some departments are using jWeb's electronic mail system to track vacation requests, monitor projects and provide status reports for managers.
Future plans for the JCPenney Intranet include a Netscape server-based newsgroup application to further facilitate internal communications to help
JCPenney's Internet site is part of an overall company effort to enhance customer service. Looking at customer service from a broad perspective, the company initiated specific improvements to better communicate with customers. As a result, visitors to www.jcpenney.com on the Internet find a wide range of applications and information including online shopping and a gift registry. The site includes a store locator application to help customers find the store nearest them, a quality assurance section which compares JCPenney's merchandise to its competitors and a customer survey to solicit feedback. Informational areas on the site cover topics including employment opportunities, community relations, a minority and woman-owned business suppliers partnership program and an investor relations link to the annual report and quarterly sales reports. The area known as JCP & You features essential corporate background and information on the guiding philosophies of the company.
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