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Lesson 3Selecting an eBusiness model for B2B
ObjectiveIdentify the various B2B models available

Selecting e-business Model for B2B

Establishing an eBusiness model helps the enterprise identify its purpose. Because it helps to identify how a business connects the activities in its value chain more cheaply or more adeptly than its competitors, it in some ways determines how efficiently the business invents or reinvents itself.
An eBusiness model may vary in complexity, from the simplest forms that involve a business selling goods and services directly to customers, to the more complex forms that involve facilitators and brokers.

It pays to be adaptable

Although the concept of business models is not new, eBusiness has in many ways rewritten the rules and introduced new and exciting possibilities. The same motto applies to B2B eBusiness models: it pays to be adaptable. With hybrids and new ideas emerging continually, it is impossible to discuss or define every possible option. We will first look at the primary B2B model, then at the more common specialized versions.

The primary B2B model

Within the primary B2B model, there are many model variations that the architect must address. We will discuss some of the more common ones.
eBusiness B2B models are interfaces between businesses. The models applied to B2B eBusiness are often similar to those used in B2C eBusiness, and some may apply to both. Examples include the Brokerage and Advertising models, which we will address in later lessons. Let us now look at specialized B2B models.

Specialized B2B models

Specialized B2B models are required when a business is an intermediary or hub[1].

Vertical hub: The sellers and buyers interact in a vertical component.

Horizontal hub: The buyers and sellers interact across industry sectors

You may view a printable version of the B2B hubs table by clicking the icon to the left.
As you can see, there are marked differences between horizontal and vertical hubs. The SlideShow below describes examples of each.
  1. B2B hubs may focus vertically or horizontally. Catalog and exchange hubs are examples of horizontal hubs.
  2. Catalog Hubs place industry-specific catalogs online from either a buyer or seller perspective.
  3. Exchange hubs match buyers in an industry with a supplier.
  4. b2b hubs may focus horizontally. An e-procurement hub or MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operating) hub is an example of a vertical hub.
  5. Yield Manager Hubs are another example of a vertical hub.

Ebusiness B2B Hub

Examples of Vertical and Horizontal Hubs

Click on the links below to see examples of vertical and horizontal hubs:
  1. Catalog hubs
  2. Exchange hubs
  3. eProcurement
  4. Yield Manager hubs

Site Enhancements

Many sites make enhancements on an ongoing basis that reclassify their eBusiness model.
Find out what a site and company is about by visiting the site's "About Us" pages where available.

Question: How might one classify a website that operates across industry verticals to:
  1. Provide information, analysis, resources and connections to the people who build and grow net markets, as well as to the broader community of investors, technology providers and others who facilitate this growth
  2. Bring together market makers, software vendors, analyst or investor, Net Market Makers

Answer: The website may be termed a "Hub of Hubs"
Another commonly used eBusiness primary model is B2C. The next lesson discusses the variations on this primary model.

Selecting Ebusiness Model - Exercise

Click the Exercise link below to apply what you have learned about B2B models and commerce.
Selecting Ebusiness Model - Exercise
[1]Hub: A business that connects multiple buyers and sellers together electronically

Value Creation