Sourcing Innovation is proud to announce the release of the first white paper in a 5-part series about B2B 3.0 — the next generation of technology for the enterprise and the first generation of technology that actually puts business users on the same footing as consumers, who have had “3.0” technologies at their fingertips for years.
This very special Illumination series is going to describe the B2B 3.0 revolution and the benefits it delivers to today’s enterprise. Considering that B2B 3.0 is the first technology to enable true commerce in the global marketplace, the doctor‘s goal with this series is to open your mind as to what B2B 3.0 is all about (hint: it’s not “Web 2.0” and all the useless hullabaloo that accompanies it) and how B2B 3.0 technologies can help you save time, save money, and increase productivity and innovation in your enterprise.
But first, it’s going to tell the tale of how we got to where we are today, which starts with B2C 1.0 in the early nineties, following the introduction of the Netscape Web Browser soon after Tim Berners-Lee released his new standard for open document sharing on the internet – HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) 1.0. Once Netscape made the web accessible to all, enterprising entrepreneurs saw the potential of the Internet to grow new and existing businesses, and B2C e-Commerce 1.0 was born. This led to the introduction of B2B 1.0 which allowed business to use the public Internet to conduct e-Commerce, instead of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) over private networks which were extremely costly to maintain and limited to only the largest suppliers in a buyer’s supply base.
Technology improved, online security tightened, and online storefronts moved from the static order forms of B2C 1.0 to the dynamic order forms of B2C 2.0. Online e-Commerce thrived and online retail became a trillion dollar industry. And businesses saw the potential to move beyond the transaction and take advantage of basic services such as catalog management, request for bid, reverse auctions, and supplier directories. This was significantly better than B2B 1.0, but it had its drawbacks, since the space was dominated by marketplaces and private supplier networks that restricted a buyer to those suppliers who could afford to be part of the community (as there were significant membership fees, and no supplier could afford to be part of all the marketplaces). Furthermore, content staled quickly as suppliers had to maintain different versions of their catalog for each network they belonged to, and each buyer they did business with.
A revolution was needed. So thought leaders again looked to the consumer space and B2C 3.0 which was taking advantage of integrated search across sites and document formats, mash-ups, web services, networks, and other services that significantly enhanced e-Commerce for the average consumer. As a result, visionary software and service providers in the B2B space started building their own web-services, intelligent agents, forums, knowledge-networks, mash-ups, and meta-search technologies. Now, business buyers can search across “catalogues” and “punch-outs” just as easily as a consumer can use Google Product Search (formerly Froogle), normalize data from hundreds of file-formats into a single common meta format to allow for intra-and-inter-enteprise collaboration in design-for-sourcing, and access third party services during the negotiation of a transaction.
And it’s just the beginning. So check out the Illumination that is Introducing B2B 3.0 And Simplicity for All and find out not only what B2B 3.0 is all about, but how we got here, and why we need it. Simply put, it is the first technology to enable true B2B e-Commerce — consisting of simple, fast, low-cost transactions at true market prices — and the technology that will run tomorrow’s businesses.