After receiving a Government grant under an ‘e-commerce early movers’ scheme, the Western Region Economic Development Organisation in Melbourne conceived and developed a business-to-business portal for use by small to medium enterprises (SME) in the region. This innovative project was to create a horizontal portal – Bizewest, which would enable the whole range of SMEs in Melbourne’s west to engage in e-commerce transactions with each other. E-commerce portals come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they all involve interactions between information technology and people. Information systems are complex socio-technical entities and research into their implementation needs to take account of this. The research reported here was socio-technical in nature and was based on considering this innovation through the lens of innovation translation, informed by actor-network theory (ANT). No matter how good the portal software, the final success or failure of the portal is primarily related to how well it is adopted and used. This paper outlines the development of the Bizewest Portal and the difficulty its proponents had in persuading regional SMEs to change their business culture to make best use of on-line trading with each other. This difficulty in changing business culture led to Bizewest’s ultimate demise.