E-commerce versus E-business
The rapid development of the Internet has caused significant changes in organizational management and design, businesses processes, the ways in which companies compete, new business and revenue models, new products and product delivery channels, marketing processes, customer relations, and other basic processes and activities. Businesses that stay with their current way of conducting business without moving toward the rapid development of the Internet are setting themselves up for failure. Failure can happen as quickly as success in the business world where competitors are always looking for ways to add value to their products, and technologies advances play a major role in adding value to a business.
E-commerce and e-business are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, but the terms are different, and that difference matters to businesses. E-commerce consists mainly of the selling, purchasing, and exchanging of products and services over computer networks as well as the Internet (Milutinovic & Patricelli, 2002). E-commerce can involve electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, e-marketing, online marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), automated inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. It typically uses electronic communications technology such as the Internet, extranets, e-mail, e-books, databases, catalogues and mobile phones. Furthermore, Ecommerce Digest (2002-2011) indicates that e-commerce can be divided into three key classifications: Business-to-Business (B2B) is wholesale transactions between organizations; Business-to-Consumer (B2C) is retail transactions with individual shoppers; and Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) is auction and information portals for person-to-person transactions.
The information technology industry might see e-commerce as an e-business application aimed at commercial transactions; however, e-business goes far beyond e-commerce purchasing or selling over the Internet, and deep into the processes and cultures of an enterprise. It involves business processes spanning the entire value chain: electronic purchasing and supply chain management, processing orders electronically, handling customer service, and cooperating with business partners. Special technical standards for e-business facilitate the exchange of data between companies. E-business is a powerful business environment that is created when connecting critical business systems directly to customers, employees, vendors, and business partners, using intranets, extranets, e-commerce technologies, collaborative applications, and the Web (Milutinovic & Patricelli, 2002). In addition, customer educating, Internet Marketing, and researching all come under e-business. The business community has realized that in order to maintain the edge in competition, they must establish themselves as an e-business.
E-business applications Integration with an...