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Lesson 2 e-Business relationships
Objective Identify common e-Business relationships.

ebusiness relationships

In e-Business there are four types of relationships you should be aware of:
  1. Business-to-business (B2B) a Net-enabling relationship with business partners, customers, and channels external to an organization. For example, linking FedEx tracking to a business backend order fulfillment system.
  2. Business-to-Consumer (B2C):Net-enabling relationships with individual consumers or end users. For example, Web storefronts like Amazon fit into this category. Webvan also fits into this category, delivering food to a consumer's home.
  3. Consumer-to-Business (C2B):a reverse market where the customer dictates the product of service and terms of delivery. For example, Priceline allows users to set their own prices.
  4. Consumer to Consumer (C2C): a virtual space for consumers to interact directly to create spot markets. For example, eBay users work together to drive the price down. distributednetworks.comis another C2C auction site that drives prices down through the number of people bidding on items.

Business-to-Business Portals

B2B corporate portals are rapidly transforming supply and value chain relationships as enterprises of all sizes join the ever-expanding e-business economy. Once viewed by companies merely as a means to disseminate corporate information or to attract customers to a Web storefront, corporate portals have since demonstrated a genuine capacity to enable real-time, interactive exchange of business transaction information and integration of business processes among trading partners: 1) buyers, 2) sellers, 3) brokers or 4) intermediaries, and 5) e-business service providers. Companies are turning to B2B portals to facilitate so-called trading partner networks, also known as "i-markets", in which each trading partner is using the portal as a central hub to transact business within the network. Consequently, the key focus of B2B portal technology vendors is to help companies overcome many of the challenges of i-markets, allowing the creation of open, dynamic e-business environments in which numerous partners can transact cost-effectively with each other.

Leading e-business companies view B2B portals as critical to participationin supply-value chain relationships, and they also see them as a vital technology for reaping the true benefits from such relationships.
Simply because the key question is not whether it makes sense to get involved in business-to-business e-commerce, but how to integrate a company’s heterogeneous applications with so many other businesses in a manner that is advantageous to all parties. At the infrastructure heart of today’s e-business integration strategies is the fact that B2B portals are tools that are designed to build a flexible, self-sustained business-to-business model in which:
  1. Every user inside and outside the enterprise is able to access every element of the corporate information base.
  2. Every business-to-business interaction among partners is carried out in a comprehensive way that allows the seamless exchange of not only transactional data, but also business intent (for example, associated meta-data that describes business rules for interpreting that data).

For such a model to become a reality, companies must connect all their mission-critical systems and provide a unified access platform to the connected enterprise information backbone. This platform should encompass a coherent, yet loosely coupled combination of integration, navigation, and information dissemination components. Many envision significant opportunities for growth in e-business applications that tightly integrate these components under a B2B portal environment. By having a complete environment in “one place” (or, as I would say, “in orbit”), an integration platform could be designed to build any type or size of i-market required.
To accurately describe the features of B2B portals required for every type of e-business arrangement is pointless. Nevertheless, certain generic characteristics of B2B portals are important because of the particular functions they perform. The following characteristics are generic and architecturally driven; they require the evaluation and comparative analysis of specific, commercially available B2B portal solutions.