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The French videotex system minitel: an example of the critical success factors to establish a national information technology infrastrucutre

Author: Jelassi, Tawfik ; Cats-Baril, William L.INSEAD Area: Technology and Operations Management Series: Working Paper ; 92/60/TM Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1992.Language: EnglishDescription: 20 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: Establishing an advanced national information technology infrastructure has been argued as providing competitive advantage not only for the countries that develop it but for the companies that operate in those countries. The cases of Singapore's Tradenet, Hong Kong's Tradelink, and Australia's Tradegate have been discussed in the IT academic community. Researchers have attempted to explain the degree of success of those systems by analysing the political and economic environments of those countries. This article follows that line of inquiry. It describes the development of the most successful national videotex system - the French Télétel system known as Minitel - and explains why it was successful while most other national videotex systems have been commercial failures. This article first gives a historical overview of the Minitel project and then analyses its impact on French society and business. It then compares Minitel's features with those of other national videotex systems.
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Establishing an advanced national information technology infrastructure has been argued as providing competitive advantage not only for the countries that develop it but for the companies that operate in those countries. The cases of Singapore's Tradenet, Hong Kong's Tradelink, and Australia's Tradegate have been discussed in the IT academic community. Researchers have attempted to explain the degree of success of those systems by analysing the political and economic environments of those countries. This article follows that line of inquiry. It describes the development of the most successful national videotex system - the French Télétel system known as Minitel - and explains why it was successful while most other national videotex systems have been commercial failures. This article first gives a historical overview of the Minitel project and then analyses its impact on French society and business. It then compares Minitel's features with those of other national videotex systems.

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