Business-to-business networks in a broadest sense are inter-organizational systems (IOSs). In the literature, the term IOSs and inter-organizational information systems (IOISs) are often used interchangeably. An inter-organizational system (IOS) is an information and management system that transcends organizational boundaries via electronic linkages with its trading partners to share data, information, and business applications. It provides the capabilities of electronic transactions including buying and selling goods and services, and also facilitates communications and decision making to increase efficiency, effectiveness, competitiveness, and profitability for participating organizations. The electronic linkage is established by the Internet, extranets, intranets, groupware, electronic data interchange (EDI), workflow systems, mobile communication technologies, and other information and communication technologies.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Inter-Organizational System (IOS): An information and management system that transcends organizational boundaries via electronic linkages with its trading partners to share data, information and business applications, provide the capabilities of electronic transactions, and facilitate communications and decision making.
Private Marketplace: (A private industrial network, private exchange) A B2B network links a firm to its strategic trading partners that collaborate to develop e-synchronized supply chain management systems, collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR), and collaborative commerce.
Business-to-Business (B2B) Networks: Wide area networks that link a company’s employees, suppliers, customers, and other business partners in a secure, electronic online environment for the purpose of conducting business.
Virtual Enterprises: A temporary consortium of independent member companies interconnected together via private and public networks to quickly exploit fast-changing world-wide manufacturing, marketing, and R&D opportunities. Virtual enterprise companies share costs, skills, and core competencies that collectively enable them to access global markets with world-class solutions their members could not deliver individually.
B2B Exchange: Originally created to establish an intermediary company to match buyers to suppliers to reduce the cost of trading for partners. Now many B2B exchanges do procurement services, goods for resale, data synchronization, forecasting, and replenishments.
Collaborative Commerce: The use of digital technologies that enable companies to collaboratively plan, design, develop, manage, and research products, services, and innovative electronic commerce applications.
Electronic Commerce: The process of buying and selling or exchange of products, services, and information via computer networks including the Internet. Major activities include online banking, online order entry, order processing, procurement, and purchasing, online marketing and advertising, and online publishing.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): The computer-to-computer exchange of repetitive, standardized/structured transaction data to trading partners’ computers over a telecommunication network. The standard transaction documents include invoices, bills of lading, purchase orders, approval of credit, shipping notices, and confirmation sent between business partners.