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You've brought up a topic that I am keenly interested in and which I have been struggling with ever since the B2B stocks careened off the cliff. I'm trying to figure out the nature of the B2B game along the vectors of indirect procurement, direct procurement, e-marketplaces (giant consortia-led and private), SCM, collaberation, and ERP. Originally, the only distinction I made was that B2B was "internet-based" and therefore not ERP. I put together a basket of ITWO, ARBA, CMRC, and ORCL. I thought CMRC would have an edge against everybody because of potential network effects from its global trading web. I thought it would have an advantage over ITWO, MANU, etc., because I believed that business to business commercial transactional interaction - buying and selling - was a general and huge opportunity, and managing supply chains and collaboration, were more specialized, smaller opportunities.
Now pundits say that SCM and collaberation is where it's at. That, in a sense, marketplaces are the wrong intereface for B2B transactions. I assume this is close to what you mean by CMRC and ARBA are offering solutions for non-problems. I still don't buy it. Marketplaces are the natural interface for most commercial transactions. Always have been, ergo always will. Collaberation is either a feature of this interface or something different altogether. I'm aware that my view is in the minority right now.
Transactions do need to be fed into an enterprise's back office ERP systems, and eventually I suppose the goal is to have a seamless CRM, procurement/SCM, ERP link. Thus, there is always a chance that one of these spaces subsumes the other, and the gorilla in the subsuming space becomes a larger gorilla in the new integrated space. Frankly, this has been my major concern - e.g, that SAP would use its gorilla power to push out the new B2B internet pure players, or in another area SEBL will subsume BVSN, ARTG, and VIGN's space.
In short why are CMRC and ARBA chimps and ITWO a gorilla, rather than CMRC the leading gorilla candidate in the e-marketplace space, ITWO, the leading gorilla candidate in SCM, and SAP somebody that everyone should be worried about. I would appreciate your feedback. By the way, where does AGIL fit into the taxonomy, and is the game over for BVSN, ARTG, and VIGN visa vis SEBL moving into and dominating their space.

R. Arnold
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