Introduction to E-business:
E-business is an all-encompassing concept that refers to the numerous ways in which companies are taking advantage of the universal connectivity offered by the Internet and other computer networks. Traditional Information Systems courses also discuss how businesses use computers, but focus in addition on technical issues of hardware, software, databases, networks, and management of all of these components. This course focuses on the ideas and processes involved in starting an e-business or in adding e-business functions to an existing business. E-business enables a customer to conduct business anytime, anywhere and from any place via a distribution channel. It helps to get a continuous dialogue between you and your customer, just as if you both were talking face to face. E- business is more than having a web site for your business. Accessing internet to provide information about the company, products, supplies, using appropriate project management software etc. can make the administrative, operational activities more efficient. The term e-business is broader, referring to the transformation of fundamental business processes through the use of Internet technologies. It refers to the way internal business processes and communication with suppliers etc. is carried out via computer networks that use Web-compatible software. In a more simpler manner e-business is the electronic exchange of information between two or more parties. Specific activities can include: customer relationship, order processing, distribution and procurement. E-business includes e-commerce, but adopts a broader perspective with emphasis on key internal business processes. These processes can include marketing, finance, human resource management, operations, production and risk management.
One of the widest known names of the software field IBM defines e-business as ‘any activity that connects critical business systems directly to their critical constituencies (customers, employees, vendors and suppliers) via intranets, extranets and over the World Wide Web.’
E-business can be divided into the following categories.
- Business to Consumer(B2C)
- Business to Government(B2G)
- Consumer to Government(C2G)
- Business to Business(B2B)
Business to consumer (B2C):
During the first wave of e-business much of the media attention was focused on the B2C market. At the time it appeared logical, as consumers were using applications such as email and bulletin boards, and performing research. Despite the success of B2C firms, the actual and projected growth of B2B dwarfs B2C markets.
Business to Government (B2G):
In most of the countries government has embedded a program aiming at the prosperous up-liftment of the country to become a world leader in the knowledge economy revolution. The e-commerce group is tasked with enabling e-commerce for the as a whole by developing an e-commerce framework that is conducive to developing a confident and skilled population. It is expected that this will be achieved by helping businesses get the skills and the technologies they need and by closely monitoring ecommerce activity.
Consumer to Government (C2G):
The government has developed a policy for the taxation of e-commerce and is hoping to resolve and clarify particular technical issues. The Government recognises that e-commerce presents both challenges and huge opportunities for taxation and tax administration for the public.
Business to Business (B2B):
The broad definition of B2B e-business helps explain why the marketplace is expected to continue to grow so quickly. According to Cunningham the B2B definition can include:
‘Transactions conducted over public or private networks, including public and private transactions that use the Internet as a delivery vehicle. The transactions include financial transfers, online exchanges, auctions, delivery of products and services, supply-chain activities and integrated business networks.’
Two of the most commonly used categories are: Business to business and Business to consumer. Business to business e-business is nothing but experiencing an explosive growth rate on the internet. The original first stage of commerce on the Internet was that of E-Commerce, which is business to consumer activities. Business to business goes well beyond that popular form of consumer purchasing. It is intended to bring “Just in Time” concept to a greater height which allows business to coordinate with its business associate for real time transaction and improving efficiency and productivity for both organizations. Because Time is money; people are money, good management of both means more money for the business and less expenditure on others. B2C (Business-to-Consumer) is basically a concept of online marketing and distributing of products and services over the Internet. It is a natural progression for many retailers or marketer who sells directly to the consumer. The general idea is, if you could reach more customers, service them better, make more sales while spending less to do it, that would the formula of success for implementing a B2C e-commerce infrastructure. The B2C category is most widely used by manufactures, publishers, distributors, direct sales firms, specialty retailers, insurance providers etc.