Users grappling with how to understand e-business marketplaces have been advised to simplify their thinking.
Experts at the B2B marketplaces event last week suggested that users have to cure their intra-organisational problems before rushing into grand collaborations with other companies.
The concept of having to clean up internal processes, such as managing your supply chain, before embarking on a public collaboration may help some IT and e-commerce directors cope with business demands for more speed.
Romesh Wadhwani, chairman and chief executive of Aspect Development, said, "You have to clean up your internal processes. If it doesn't make sense to you internally, how can you expect outsiders to cope with it?"
Advocates of online marketplaces are giving mixed messages. They are telling users to implement basic e-procurement solutions, like office supplies, but warn that these do not yield great returns.
"First generation e-marketplaces have focused on very simple processing of office supplies and not on business processes such as delivering your products," said Wadhwani.