The string of e-commerce business-to-business exchanges (B2B) set up in the last week has led to fears that users may rush to set up exchanges without understanding the pitfalls or alternatives.
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E-procurement exchanges for metals have been set up by Ispat and Commerce One, and for transportation by airline booking system Sabre. As a result, users are being driven to set up procurement exchanges in other vertical sectors of the economy.
But specialists such as Commerce One and Biomni have warned that setting up such exchanges in not easy, or necessary.
Commerce One, a partner of General Motors, which has recently agreed to merge a separate exchange driven by Ford with Oracle, has warned that exchanges cannot operate without respective buyers and sellers.
Chris Phillips, director of marketing in Europe for Commerce One, this week warned that for an exchange to succeed there has to be:
However, Beverley Burgess, marketing director of e-commerce specialist, Biomni, suggested that IT and e-commerce specialists should consider other options to going down the exchange route. Alternatives she suggested, are: