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Although only a few years old, electronic commerce offers new ways of doing business that no business can afford to ignore. This book is a collection of selected contributions from renowned researchers who specialize in the various facets of electronic commerce, namely economics, finance, information technology, and education. The basic goal is to give an overview of some of the most relevant topics in E-Commerce.



Measurement, Policy and Research Issues of a New Phenomena

This paper firstly sets out to provide a broad overview of the development of electronic commerce, addressing the current state of the market and the history and current status of policy development, in particular in Europe. Secondly, it addresses some of the characteristics of the emerging e-economy with a view to indicating directions for future research, such as into new business models, dynamic business networking, and the balance of global versus local, in e-business as well as in e-policy development.
P. Timmers

Strategies for the Financial Services Industry in the Internet Age

Globalization of financial markets resulting from both IT (particularly Internet standards) and increasing homogeneity of regulation has strongly affected the environment, financial services companies are operating in. Given these changes on the market, innovation is not a choice, but a necessity to survive. Observable today, however, are defensive strategies and poor service quality. In this paper based on investments in trust relationships with customers we propose Sophistication (fit) Banking enabled by IT and qualified staff and show first steps towards the implementation of a sophistication banking strategy. While traditional markets are characterized by shrinking margins and declining shareholder values, which can easily be explained considering the digital character of financial products, new intermediaries for customer-centered Sophistication (fit) Banking have the opportunity of becoming spiders in the web and increasing shareholder values constantly.
H. U. Buhl, D. Kundisch, A. Leinfelder, W. Steck

A Framework for Performance and Value Assessment of E-Business Systems in Corporate Travel Distribution

This chapter proposes and illustrates a framework that the authors call the value life cycle for e-commerce systems. Based on recent research results that relate to technology investments in the corporate travel industry and related theoretical and empirical perspectives, the authors lay out the corporate travel e-commerce system solutions value life cycle. The perspective involves estimating the maximum value that that an organization can obtain by implementing an e-commerce system in a specific industry and competitive environment. It also considers multiple factors that act as value contingencies for the implementation process. These create barriers to value accrual and to post-implementation performance assessment. The analytical perspective emphasizes the importance of comparing the expected value from the evaluation stage with the realized value from actual system usage. The authors highlight a key finding for corporate travel procurement specialists: the value of e-commerce systems infrastructure is surprisingly dependent on a variety of factors in the implementation environment of the organization, and as a result, the authors suggest that investments in this kind of technology be made with considerable caution and a clear sense of the potential pitfalls that may lead to insufficient value accrual.
A. M. Chircu, R. J. Kauffman

Defining Internet Readiness for the Tourism Industry: Concepts and Case Study

Integrating emerging technologies into the organizational fabric is a prerequisite for capturing the full benefits of the new tourism e-economy. However, most tourism organizations are still struggling with the adoption of Internet technologies and are far from reaching a stage of highly effective technology use. This paper proposes a measurement model of Internet Readiness that incorporates the concepts of stages of effective technology use and organizational capacity to change. A case study conducted among American convention and visitors bureaus serves as a first empirical test of the model and provides management implications as well as directions for future research.
U. Gretzel, D. R. Fesenmaier

Aggregation and Disaggregation of Information Goods: Implications for Bundling, Site Licensing,and Micropayment Systems

We analyze pricing strategies for digital information goods that are based on aggregation or disaggregation. Bundling, site licensing, and subscription pricing can be analyzed as strategies that aggregate consumer utility across different goods, different consumers, or different time periods, respectively. Using micropayments for rental of software “applets,” or other discrete units of information, can be thought of as disaggregation. We show that reductions in marginal costs made possible by low-cost digital processing and storage of information will favor aggregation of information goods, while reductions in transaction and distribution costs made possible by ubiquitous networking tend to make disaggregation more profitable.
Furthermore, offering the goods simultaneously in the aggregated package and as separate components may dominate strategies of both pure aggregation and pure disaggregation. Our model demonstrates how the increasing availability of information goods over the Internet will lead to increased use of both disaggregation-based pricing strategies, taking advantage of micropayment technologies, and aggregation strategies, whereby information goods will be offered in bundles, site licenses, and subscriptions.
Y. Bakos, E. Brynjolfsson

Auctions — the Big Winner Among Trading Mechanisms for the Internet Economy

Auctions are probably the most important mechanism for dynamic pricing in electronic commerce. Although they constitute a very old mechanism as well, the new popularity has raisen a lot of questions on the appropriate design of an auction mechanism for a particular situation. This chapter describes reasons for auction popularity by setting them into the context of trends in electronic commerce. We then illustrate the main issues in auction design. Our analysis starts with simple single-item auctions, as we can see them in many B2C markets. We then look at the more complex auction designs, which are necessary for B2B markets. For the latter design has to take into account that buyers want to purchase collections of items and services, and that the valuation for winning collections is not simply equal to the sum of valuations of single items. We show how multi-item auction mechanisms can benefit from a synthesis of microeconomic and mathematical optimization models.
R. Müller

Security in E-Commerce

Future networks will be open, heterogeneous and complex systems consisting of many independent nets. Classical services like e-mail and file-transfer will only be components of these information networks, which resemble more social rather than technical infrastructures. While the technical development is predictable, the social and economic direction is less clear. Security is a key factor (Schoder et al., 1998). It is, however, no longer limited to the protection from physical dangers, but rather the ability to protect virtual assets and privacy. As in any human communication, it should be seen as an element of technical communication and is a matter to be negotiated between partners. This paper describes multilateral security (Rannenberg et al., 1996) as the requirement to act self-determinedly in a global network and relates the social term “trust” and the technical term “security”. While the functions of technology are all related to cryptography, infrastructures enable communication and institutions have the task of assuring trust in functions and promises of infrastructures. Even though governments may have to change their policy towards regulation, a realm of regulations in providing future infrastructures may remain. This paper elaborates on concepts and ideas of the Kolleg “Sicherheit in der Kommunkationstechnik” (Müller et al., 1997, 1998), supported by the Gottlieb Daimler- und Karl Benz-Stiftung, Ladenburg-Berlin.
G. Müller

XML@work: The Case of a Next-Generation EDI Solution

Only about 5% of the companies which could profit from EDI actually use it. The main reason is that especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) try to avoid the considerable setup- and operating costs of traditional EDI solutions. We demonstrate how new emerging network technologies, in particular XML, can open communications networks and shape the way businesses can interact with one another. Together with our partner Lufthansa AirPlus we developed a next generation EDI solution that aims at opening EDI networks.
P. Buxmann

E-Commerce/E-Business Education: Pedagogy or New Product Development?

E-commerce/e-business has been developing at a tremendous pace over the past few years — indeed, since the creation of the NASDAQ index, e-business has become one of the most widely-discussed and rapidly-growing parts of the business world. New types of businesses are evolving within this New Economy and, with them, new business models (or modified versions of traditional business models) are being created to cater for the new business activities and new transactions which are taking place.
Education, too, is undergoing significant changes. The increasing demand for skilled and experienced IT people with both technical and creative skills has combined with an already serious pre-existing shortage of staff having such qualifications to produce an almost insatiable demand for training at all levels — post-graduate, under-graduate and technical. Universities, many of which are in any case under pressure to bring in industry funding to fill the gap left by lower levels of government support, are responding by developing specialist subjects, degrees and diplomas at under-graduate and, particularly, at graduate level. The rate of development and the reactive nature of many of these offerings, however, suggest that what is occurring is not so much an exercise in pedagogy as a marketing activity.
Over the past two years, the rate at which e-commerce/e-business university programs have been introduced around the world has escalated dramatically. This chapter looks at the underlying issues prompting universities to engage in this flurry of new program/course creation. We make use of some preliminary statistics gathered in the Asia-Pacific region to suggest that what is actually taking place is new product development, rather than new program development; and then consider the implications of this marketing-based approach to degree/ program/course creation.
P. M. C. Swatman, E. S. K. Chan


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