by Ariel Tam
BRISBANE, Queensland, 24 July 2000 – MySAP.com Marketplaces are Internet hubs for collaborative business or "c-business". They enable bilateral and multilateral collaboration between enterprises.
Market makers that have joined the SAP Marketplace include Larsen and Toubro (marketplace in India), icFox (pan-Asian engineering and construction marketplace), eCOM (retail/CPG in Philippines), Business Focus Group (naval engineering and construction in Malaysia) and Singapore Contractors Association Limited.
In e-marketplaces, market makers play a key role in creating and operating either vertical or horizontal marketplaces as a business.
The concept calls for the use of channel masters, which are companies that create value through their supply chain or ecosystem, comprising of customers, suppliers, partners and other external agencies.
Channel masters include Supervalue Inc., Hitachi Electronic Devices Singapore, Trigem Korea and Thomson Multimedia.
The SAP Marketplace vision comprises three parts.
First, SAP provides the technology to build marketplace software infrastructure. It also provides the vertical and horizontal applications that enable collaboration and integration across an industry where e-procurement is one such collaborative application.
Second, mySAP.com Marketplace provides a level of openness that enables integration to SAP and non-SAP users.
Third, SAP enables marketplaces to be linked into a virtual consortium to facilitate commerce globally
"The original marketplace concept was to achieve operational efficiencies by streamlining inter-enterprise processes where the most visible marketplace application is e-procurement," said Les Hayman, president & CEO of SAP, Asia Pacific.
MySAP.com applications currently provide 120 collaborative scenarios across 20 industries, from automotive to utilities.
The B2B revolution
A spokesperson for Asiacommerce commented that e-business has the potential to positively impact business in terms of market transparency, improved efficiency and cost savings.
"For companies in Asia, it is extremely important that the traditional businesses ("brick-and-mortar") effectively manage and integrate an e-business strategy into their overall corporate culture. SAP's announcement is the latest indicator that demonstrates the move by most industries in Asia looking to join the B2B evolution," the spokesperson said.
Freedom of choice
Ross Eades, director for Vertical Support Group, J.D. Edwards, offers a slightly different take on SAP's initiative.
"Whilst the e-marketplace will form a vital part of the e-business landscape in the future, this is not
the principal thrust of the e-business revolution. Business to business, or B2B, is where the emphasis is placed
today," Eades averred.
Eades said that by sharing intelligence more effectively and by linking inter-company processes more efficiently in an e-business environment, companies can increase revenue, save time, better utilise assets and reduce costs.
"MySAP.com participants, for example, can only transact amongst themselves, within the mySAP community. Successful e-marketplaces must integrate, irrespective of the software your enterprise uses."
Eades added that the spirit of the e-marketplace lies in the freedom of companies to choose how they assemble their internal applications and how they collaborate with partners.
Interoperability solutions that link business processes and workflow engines so that online exchanges can take place and marketplace friction for buyers and sellers is reduced are also necessary, Eades commented.