Business Networking Systems: Characteristics and Lessons Learned

Rainer Alt and Elgar Fleisch
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 5, Number 2, Winter 2000-2001, pp. 7.

Abstract: Designing relationships among business units is of growing competitive relevance. Business networking is largely enabled by the interorganizational information systems (IOS) that have evolved since the 1960s. However, many companies initially invested in enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) and have only recently begun to complement these systems with networking capabilities. The developmental path toward IOS is referred to here as business networking systems (BNS). The major challenges for such systems are described, along with the main types of systems and the criteria for characterizing them. Three case studies identify techniques and lessons learned in designing business networking systems. Methodologies for BNS projects should treat these lessons as integral elements that sustain adoption and business orientation.

Key Words and Phrases: Business networking, enterprise resource planning (ERP), interorganizational system (IOS), networkability, supply-chain management (SCM).