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Abstract

The electronic commerce assurance market has been estimated to be potentially worth $11 billion. To date the focus of assurance services has largely been on web commerce (and therefore business to consumer) related services, leaving the business-to-business (B2B or B-to-B) electronic commerce market relatively untapped. Yet, with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) being mandated by large companies and government agencies, small- to medium-sized firms have struggled to acquire and implement this technology with little understanding of this new age of electronic commerce. As the ubiquitous Internet allows more firms to become EDI-capable, there is an imminent need for having some independent means for assuring the quality of B2B electronic commerce and related business practices. This need is not only crucial for smaller trading partners, but is essential to the success of larger firms who want to realize reduced cycle times, improved customer service and a greater return on their technology investments by electronically controlling the entire value-chain. This paper proposes a framework for delivering B2B electronic commerce assurance services and discusses some potential implications for such services.

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