In B2B Exchanges Sculley and Woods analyse the nature of the revolution that is occurring in Business-to-Business (B2B) transactions as a result of the recent acceptance of the Internet by corporations. The authors make the startling claim that "the Internet changes everything in B2B" and that most corporations will have to re-invent themselves over the next five years to remain competitive in the New Economy.B2B exchanges, with are developing at Internet speed, are catalysts for this change and represents a tectonic shift in the way that business buy and sell from each other. In B2B Exchanges the authors explain the development of these new exchanges and why B2B exchanges are the "Killer Application" in the B2B Internet Revolution. "This definitive analysis of B2B exchanges shows the enormous impact they will have in revolutionizing the global economy." Ira Magaziner, Former Senior Policy Advisor to President Clinton for Policy Department.
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Much of the philosophical underpinning of the modern business world is based on the claimed superiority of the free market and its supposed ability to provide the best solutions. It in turn is based on the purely theoretical economic concept of "perfect competition". The trouble is that the idea of perfect competition translates poorly into reality because it makes implausible assumptions like perfect knowledge and information and zero transaction costs. All of which was wishful thinking--until the Internet.
This the starting point of Arthur Sculley and W William A Woods' B2B Exchanges. B2B, if you have been in a coma for the past two years, means "business to business". And the thesis of the book is that the Internet is revolutionising the business of "business to business" more than any other sector of human endeavour. The sale of products and services by business to business over the Internet will be worth $1.5 trillion within four years according to estimates and the principal fora in which this will occur will be B2B exchanges. "The unique feature of the B2B exchange is that it brings multiple buyers and sellers together (in a virtual sense) in one central market space and enables them to buy and sell from each other at a dynamic price which is determined in accordance with the rules of the exchange", write Sculley and Woods.
The book analyses the key issues in building a successful and effective exchange and lists seven secrets for success with B2B exchanges: stay specialised; dominate swiftly; maintain commercial neutrality; ensure transparency and integrity; add value by building a virtual community; make the right strategic partnerships and operate as a virtual corporation.
Sculley spent 25 years with JP Morgan before branching out into e-commerce. He has been chairman of the Bermuda Stock Exchange since 1996. Woods is a lawyer and consultant on the design and development of securities exchanges around the world. Their book makes an exciting read for those interested in business to business, and is a must read for CEOs and anyone concerned with the realities of doing business online. --Alex Benady
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