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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On e-Commerce & e-Business

E-Commerce is not e-Business, and e-Business is not (only) e-Commerce. Everyday I realize as I discuss with people that the the trend goes towards mixing the two concepts every day more.

* E-Commerce is synonym to allowing e-Shopping: an e-Commerce platform (be it C-to-C or B-to-C) is basically a virtual, interactive shop window that make products and services available to all cyber-citizens.

* E-Business has a broader range: as I see it, e-Business incures major transformations in traditional ways of doing business.
E-Business is about getting rid of resources-costly processes through integrated information systems.
These information systems (ERP software + electronic terminals) usually involve sourcing (SRM: Supplier Relationship Management), tracking inventory and goods (e-Supply Chain), managing talents (e-HR), finance, customer needs (CRM) to make their shopping experience better and better - and..e-Commerce, which, because it allows direct interactions with customers, is the most important part as long as operations are perfectly executed.

To wind up, when e-Commerce helps the company selling (better) through electronic channels, e-Business is about enhancing a competitive advantage by bringing in information technologies into the firmĀ“s operational processes.

Here is an excellent recapitulating chart devised by Pr. Petra Schubert from the University of Applied Sciences of Basel, Switzerland:

You may find the whole presentation (.pdf) by clicking here. The lecture was given in December 2005 at an e-Commerce conference in Lisboa, Portugal.


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