B-2-B Milestones

Business to Business e-commerce has only really begun to take shape in the past five to six years, but what we are seeing will be comparable to the industrial Revolution. Since these developments have come about so recently, we all should be quite familiar with the key players. As expected, battles have begun, and companies like Microsoft, IBM, Sun, and Cisco are all ready to wage war. Before this war fully erupts, it is best to know what has happened so far.

Cisco was one of the first to put up a major e-commerce site back in July of 96'. Once The other companies also saw the potential of the Internet, the race was on. One month later Microsoft released its merchant system software that allowed for sales transactions over the Internet. Enter IBM, now that e-commerce had begun, the next logical step was electronic financing and banking. IBM developed the Integrion Financial Network, and shortly there after began to market their E-business strategies. Microsoft, now feeling a need to match IBM, joined with First Data Corp. to launch MSFDC to compete with IBM's Intergrion.

Due to such rapid development, New players entered the market, and others decided to team up. Netscape which had originally been known mainly for their browsers, released Netscape ECXpert Commerce Exchange software. Then IBM and Cisco joined to offer small business solutions ranging from network solutions to e-business strategy. Currently many more companies are entering the market, and it is hard to tell who will be the eventual leaders.