B2B eBusiness to Make Impact in Manufacturing

September 12, 2000 -- BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS (B2B) is expected be a dominant type of electronic business (e-business) to be adopted in the market, especially in manufacturing where the ``just-in-time'' business process is practised.

This was the view of Intel Corp's network equipment division communications and training manager Nancy Pantone. The B2B explosion is not just happening in the US but is shaping the economy on a worldwide basis, she said when discussing e-business at an Intel networking boot camp in Singapore last week. The challenge for e-business was performance where orders need to be processed quickly, and customers could double overnight, she added.

"In the US, consumers will only wait for four seconds for a response. The wait time used to be six seconds six months ago."

The exponential growth of the Internet is hard to comprehend, making maintaining the reliability of network systems an important challenge for companies, Pantone said. Companies also need to look at the flexibility of their hardware systems, she added.

"Getting the balancing act right is difficult for businesses. The choices are always changing. Ideally, businesses need to build networks that can be upgraded over the years."

E-business, Pantone said, may be hampered in countries with high rates for telecommunications access but the situation could change when wireless access becomes widely available.

Intel Technology Asia Pte Ltd's communications products group regional marketing manager Kuan Teik Yean said companies venturing into B2B type of e-business need to be different, adapt their business priorities at Internet speed, avoid poor execution and provide a secure environment to remain competitive.

He said extensible mark-up language (XML) will be the foundation and lingua franca in B2B.

"XML will do for B2B what hypertext markup language (HTML) did for the Web as it enables business intelligence in the network."

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Associated Press