If a buyer and supplier have invested in different e-business networks, do you think they would want to invest again in a second, third, or multiple other networks to exchange business documents?
Would they want to have to manage multiple connections, multiple formats and also have to comply with ever-increasing government regulations and mandates?
To use the collaborative approach of mobile networks as an analogy, many e-business networks came to the same conclusion. Allowing buyers and suppliers who have already invested heavily in becoming digitally capable (i.e. ERPs, middleware, value-added networks) would vastly increase user adoption, paving the way for a whole new layer of value-added services that come from digitalization.
This has led to what are now known as open networks – collaborative vendor networks that allow customers to retain their chosen networks while the vendors arrange connectivity and translations.
Open networks let the reach for both buyer and supplier grow without having to invest in multiple trading partner engagement programs.