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"Get it in writing" is a quaint concept in the electronic information age--especially in B2B e-commerce, where a more suitable direction may be: "get in it cXML."
Every industry has major players moving back-office functions, from sourcing and procurement, to invoicing and payment to the Web. Supplier networks from Ariba, Perfect Commerce and Quadrem are expanding rapidly alongside industry-specific predecessors like OFS Portal, which connects suppliers and producers in the upstream oil and gas industry, and general procurement sites such as TradeKey.com.
While B2B e-commerce remains in the domain of Forbes Global 2000 companies with more than $1bn in sales, according to Forrester Research, responsibility often falls upon their smaller suppliers to accommodate online transactions. Benefits for small companies may include that their buyer assumes responsibility for tracking services delivery, faster invoicing and payment, and minimized disputes.
The rapid growth of back-office-to-back-office e-business is aided by enthusiasm for Web 2.0 applications and the enormous amounts of data available for evaluation and analysis.
Source: CRM Buyer, http://crmbuyer.com
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