Taxonomy of Broker's Functions in Virtual Enterprises
Paulo Ávila (Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal), Goran D. Putnik (University of Minho, Portugal), Maria Manuela Cunha (Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal) and António Pires (Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2008
Not just with the emergence but also with the growing of the electronic market, that is, the growth of online suppliers of services and products and Internet users (potential consumers), the necessary conditions to the affirmation of the agile/virtual enterprises (A/VE) as a present and future enterprise organizational model are created. In this context, it is our understanding that the broker may have an important role in its development, namely, if the broker performs functions for the A/VE with better efficacy and efficiency. In this article, we will present first a revision of the broker’s models in a structured form. We present a taxonomy of possible broker’s functions for the broker’s actuation near the A/VE and then the classification of the literature broker’s models. This classification will permit an analysis of a broker’s model and establish a mainframe for our broker’s model according to the BM_Virtual Enterprise Architecture Reference Model (BM_VEARM).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Broker Supply Chain: The service supply chain established between the broker and the A/VE, or other A/VE units (other that broker, when the broker is a part of A/VE), in different instances of the A/VE project. The broker can act as the initiator, a supplier, a direct intermediary, and/or an indirect intermediary.
Taxonomy of Broker’s Functions in Virtual Enterprises: A set of functions, explicit and implicit, that the broker needs to perform the broker’s activity of joining his clients (resources, principal, market of resources, and another’s brokers), independently of the agile/virtual enterprise model.
Broker Model of the BM_VEARM (A/VE): The set of functions, belonging to the taxonomy of broker’s functions that should be performed by a broker, or more than one, in order to assist the project and operation of the agile/virtual enterprise with better performance.
Broker: An autonomous entity with the capabilities to perform functions related with the resources management for the project and operation of the agile/virtual enterprise.
Principal of the BM_VEARM (A/VE): The A/VE initiator and its juridical top level responsibility.
Implicit Functions of the Broker: The functions (tools) that the broker uses to support the execution of the explicit functions: interaction with other brokers; resources market/virtual net creation; resources market maintenance; selection of selection algorithms; negotiation; guarantee confidentiality between client/supplier; and to create mechanisms that support transactions risks.
Explicit Functions of the Broker: The functions that the broker makes available to its clients: A/VE initiation; focused resources market creation; resources selection; resources systems selection; resources systems integration; resources integration scheduling; resources system reconfiguration; resources monitoring and reliability analysis; resources control; information dissemination; and virtual environment provider for the client’s level.