A New Way Forward

The future of commerce is connected, efficient and informed, and it won’t be driven by traditional software

Barry Hochfelder
Barry Hochfelder

It wasn’t long ago that the volatile global economy dipped into a horrendous recession. When that happened, lean and mean became the way of the business world.

And while economic conditions have improved, these changes remain in place. Companies today operate on more flexible models that require them to rapidly assemble resources on a project basis to address the biggest challenges of the moment—and disassemble them just as quickly to make their business more agile and profitable. And they are more reliant than ever on a complex web of partners to make their businesses go.

And, in short, that’s what the special issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive is all about: The Virtual Enterprise.

In our lead article, Dr. Marcell Vollmer, Chief Operating Officer of Ariba, writes, “Business is no longer about executing a process within a company, but across an entire value chain. It’s not only about the intelligence within an organization, but the intelligence of entire communities. It’s not about automating and doing things faster, but tapping collective insights and best practices to do things better—and in entirely new ways. Welcome to the Virtual Enterprise. And a new era for procurement.”

If your company is like most, you’ve taken steps to automate key business and financial processes. You likely have an ERP system—or two. And you may be leveraging cloud-based applications to extend their value.

You’ve seen results. You’re doing things faster and more efficiently. You’ve minimized your financial and supply risk. But to achieve the next level of business productivity, you’ll need a new approach—and systems to drive it.

The future of commerce is connected, efficient and informed. And it won’t be driven by traditional software. Instead, it will be enabled by the same technologies that have made our personal lives so easy—networks.

From Facebook and Twitter to Amazon, eBay and Uber, networks have made it easier than ever for us to connect with the people and information we need to manage our personal affairs.

Business networks provide the same simple, scalable way for companies to discover, connect and collaborate with the trading partners and resources they need to operate in today’s dynamic world.

In this issue, we'll show how you can harness the power of networks to deliver the future of commerce and position your business for success.

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