Regional business must develop global view says C1 VP

Local organisations are going to have to start to ‘think global’ if they are to reap the rewards of business to business (B2B) e-commerce.

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By  Peter Conmy Published  August 6, 2000

Local organisations are going to have to start to ‘think global’ if they are to reap the rewards of business to business (B2B) e-commerce.

According to Commerce One’s visiting vice president for emerging markets, changing the regional mindset to accommodate such ideas is the company’s biggest challenge. “E-commerce is global,” Eric Meier-Ruegg, told Arabian Computer News.

“We’re convincing the parties that they shouldn’t think as an island, but [that] they should think globally. They have to look at this as a business decision and not a technology decision.”

For businesses that enter into regional exchanges, there are going to be certain obvious benefits, such as reducing purchasing costs. However, the real goal, according to Meier-Ruegg, is to take these processes and play in an international arena.

“The technology that is going to be developed has to be compatible with the other global marketplaces,” said the C1 VP.

Business Standard

Commerce One, is hoping that it will achieve a technical and business standard, through its Global Trading Web (GTW) programme, which will enable the globe’s exchanges to interoperate.

GTW is made up of the current participants from around C1’s 100 or so market sites, all working to hammer out standards for global trade.

“Exchanges provide a number of functions that are shared between all the trading partners. One is connectivity,” said Meier-Ruegg.

“But then in e-commerce a number of other functions have to be provided, like content management, integrated business services and logistics.”

However, before organisations can sign up for GTW, they still have to wrestle with the deployment processes. Historically, the region has experienced a great deal of difficultly with large business process reengineering projects, such as ERP.

Competence Centre

The primary reason behind this has been the absence of skilled staff in the region. To tackle the issue C1 is already setting up a competence centre in Bahrain to start the task of creating a pool of localised skills.

“These plans are in their early stages,” said Meier-Ruegg. “We have already established a certification programme for our partners and we’ll have indirect service support in the region. We’re going to have several hundred people training on our solution within 12 months,” he added.

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