Communication as a Key Factor in Cooperation Success and Virtual Enterprise Paradigm Support

Communication as a Key Factor in Cooperation Success and Virtual Enterprise Paradigm Support

Ing. Martin Januska (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2098-8.ch008
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Commonality among business subjects and the ability to communicate with each other effectively are critical factors for the success of the project. Communication between these entities is a source of information and data, which all participants need for being able to work effectively. Therefore, the communication is strongly correlated to the performance. Nowadays, there is a significantly increasing pressure on the speed of communication, transparency, relevance, and volume of data transmitted. This need leads to design of a new communication environment.
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This chapter deals with description of problems small and medium enterprises (SME’s) deals with during project cooperation or using Virtual Enterprise Paradigm. Number of important problems is addressed trough effective communication and appropriate communication environment in this chapter.

Virtual Enterprise (VE) is a temporary coalition of companies that have come together to share skills and resources to exploit the business opportunities that are unable to cope alone. Through effective collaboration and integration of resources, knowledge and skills held by individual members of virtual communities, Virtual Enterprise is capable of achieving the desired objectives with high quality and low price. It maximizes resources utilization and minimizing initial investments and distribution of total risk. However, the main objective is to minimize the time at which new products and services appear on the market. Nowadays, it seems that Virtual Enterprise is one of the most promising approaches for small and medium-sized companies in the future.

The cooperation of several companies on one-off projects such as R & D means a collaboration of a large number of users across a number of totally different business entities. There is none or very minimal possibility that these different entities will unify their enterprise information systems for the short-term cooperation. In the long-term cooperation the idea of unification of corporate information systems in terms of return on investment is also very controversial. Therefore the start of cooperation is threatened by the absence of an effective way of information and data exchange.

Another important question in this concept is traceability and relevance of communication. In terms of trust it is essential that each of the entities is able to monitor and store the communication. That allows reverse analysis of communication back in time.

However, the possibility of reverse analysis is again in terms of cooperation of more SME's inadequate. It is all about quickness, quality and price. Therefore it is necessary to monitor communication and the states of processes in real time. That allows clear identification of problems and greatly eliminates wasting of time in communication. At the same time, there is evident who is responsible for the waste of time and who will bear the all potential consequences of possible unobserved deadlines. The Ability to monitor communication also applies for the customer who ordered the project. He is therefore given the ability to monitor the state of the communication providing assurance on the progress of work on his projects.

Effective communication environment for affordable price to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's) are currently on the market only in very limited quantities. There are already existing similar sophisticated massive server-based communication environments or in a smaller scale, electronic forums. However, these solutions require a central server where all data are stored. Paradox is that the concept of communication through a central server as a data repository is very secure and still it meets with the considerable reluctance of companies to store their data on a server which is not directly under their control.

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