Fostering Networked Business Operations: A Framework for B2B Electronic Intermediary Development

Fostering Networked Business Operations: A Framework for B2B Electronic Intermediary Development

Christoph Pflügler (University of Augsburg, Germany)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/jiit.2012040103
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Abstract

Long being seen as commercially unsuccessful after the dot-com era, interest in web-based B2B electronic intermediaries is again increasing in the light of globalization and cost-pressure on procurement departments of enterprises. Driven by increased profitability, these systems are getting more sophisticated. Based on a thorough literature-driven requirements analysis, this paper presents a state-of-the-art service-oriented reference architecture for B2B electronic intermediaries and provides scientifically grounded recommendations for developing such systems. The framework supports practitioners to create and further develop B2B electronic intermediary systems. It also serves as a basis for future design-oriented research endeavors in the field. The value of the presented artifacts is demonstrated by means of two use cases.
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1. Introduction

In 2001, more than 1500 B2B electronic intermediaries were in operation (Ravichandran, Pant, & Chatterjee, 2007). However, many of them have since gone out of business or were sold to competitors. Day and Fein (2003) report that only 43% of the B2B electronic intermediaries in operation in 2000 survived and functioned in 2002. These survivors, however, have since become an indispensable component of various industry supply networks such as in the car, metal or chemical industry (Son & Benbasat, 2007a). Further, a recent report on the SCM software market of the Gartner Group states that market leader SAP had to accept a decline of 8,8% in revenues generated from SCM software in 2009, whereas Ariba, an operator of an industry-independent B2B electronic intermediary, managed to increase its respective revenue by 8,8% (Gartner, 2010), and is now operating profitable. Vendors such as Ariba are getting more experienced, and, as a result, their systems are getting more sophisticated almost by the day. In order to foster a more rapid development of state-of-the-art B2B electronic intermediaries in diverse environments, the work at hand presents a corresponding reference architecture based on a thorough literature-driven requirements analysis, and provides recommendations for the development of such systems. The framework provided by the work at hand supports practitioners to rapidly create and further develop B2B electronic intermediary systems. Besides, it serves as a basis for future design-oriented research endeavors in the field.

After this introduction, the next section details the research methodology. The section that follows provides a transitive closure of requirements on B2B electronic intermediaries. Based thereupon, a reference architecture for this class of systems is presented. Scientifically grounded recommendations for the development of B2B electronic intermediaries are then given. Two possible use cases for the presented framework are described. Finally, conclusions and limitations of the work are briefly described in the last section.

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