Still Just the Fax, Ma'am

Half of companies yet to adopt e-commerce information transmission

Lombard, IL  July 9, 2001  Nearly half of all businesses still use such "traditional" methods as hard copies, floppy disks and faxes to communicate with customers and suppliers, according to a study released today by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

The study, by the association's e-Commerce Standards Board (ECSB), reveals that e-commerce has yet to gain universal acceptance despite anecdotal evidence of corporations' increased involvement in e-business.

ECSB conducted the study to survey usage of B2B transaction methodologies within the computing and electronic components industry.

"The continuing extensive use of traditional methods for B2B transaction exchange, even in large companies, means the industry has even more opportunities for cost savings through e-commerce than commonly thought," said David Sommer, CompTIA's director of e-commerce.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Fewer than half of all companies surveyed are using Extensible Markup Language (XML) at this time, and fewer than 12 percent of all transactions are being transported using XML.

  • 65 percent of electronic data interchange (EDI) volume in the United States and Europe is not transferred on value added networks (VANs), which can protect companies from errors in data transmission.

  • U.S. companies are significantly more likely than European companies to use EDI and XML technologies for electronic transactions; European companies are more likely to use non-EDI/XML systems and e-mail.

  • Only 20 percent of companies currently participate in trading communities using such solutions as Commerce One, Ariba and mySAP. An additional 23 percent of companies surveyed expect to participate in such trading communities within the next year, dramatically increasing the number of companies involved in online trading communities.

"These results show that reliable technologies and transport protocols, like ebXML messaging, transport and routing, need to be applied to ensure reliable data transmissions," said Sommer. "Failure to adopt more modern transport mechanisms could make companies more susceptible to data errors and mistakes in invoices and purchasing transactions, possibly affecting the bottom line."

CompTIA says it surveyed more than 185 information services managers, directors and executives from both U.S. and European companies to develop a better understanding of the role of e-commerce in today's marketplace and to help develop protocols, procedures and guidelines that will enhance the future development of e-commerce.

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