E-Commerce Software's Next Wave: Can You Ride It?

Article excerpt

"Today, there's a monumental change taking place in the way technology can support e-commerce."

The e-commerce prize so far has gone to software vendors that best cobbled together various technologies to enable consumer transactions. But if you want to do business in the seamless online environment of e-commerce, you are doomed by attempts to adapt and extend older stovepipe technologies.

Twenty-first-century networks need software applications built expressly to create relationships between enterprises. Commercial transactions are among the most relational of all human interactions, with dozens of people handling customer information, products, transactions, delivery, payment and service. In traditional commerce, relational processes drive most successful business models. How much human interaction needed for creating, accessing, managing and changing all this information could be automated?

Until now, we've seen simplistic online models built primarily around auction, reverse auction and shopping-cart paradigms for commerce. These models work primarily for surplus or distressed-- inventory situations, simple consumer transactions and spot-buying, or for MRO or maintenance operations transactions.

Today, there's a monumental change taking place in the way technology can support e-commerce. New software more robustly emulates and enables human behaviors that create successful businesses. …