B2B and Reseller Markets
Business-to-business (B2B) concept involves the aspect of decision-making in the majority of industry sectors (Hutt & Speh, 2013). The majority of the collaborative business models in the modern times have made an effort to improve the face of marketing through the support of the B2B relationships amongst the entities. The application of the B2B also comes with challenges in the fulfillment of the negotiations and interactions imposed through the collaborative models in managing public business marketing processes (Hutt & Speh, 2013). In this research, the description of the use of interaction protocols in defining and managing the processes in B2B relationships forms the core subject.
The advancement of technology has enabled businesses conduct marketing electronically facilitating the existence of the Business-to-Business (B2B) E-Commerce (Hutt & Speh, 2013).
In some of the B2B relationships, the aspect of interaction forms significant challenge. The interactions within the B2B framework occur in three vital layers including content, communication, and business process. Internet-centered B2B related business models are effective in conducting business-to-business (B2B) commerce in the majority of the industry sectors. As one of the instantaneous mediums, the development of technology provides the business entities with new and improvised electronic marketplaces (Hutt & Speh, 2013).
In the layer of business process, the B2B relationships necessitate the management of two distinct business processes including public processes and private processes (Hutt & Speh, 2013). The private processes forms part of the enterprise itself managed through each enterprise in an independent way. The private processes receive support within the enterprises through a traditional Workflow Management System, proprietary systems or the ERP systems (Meyer, 2007).
The public processes enable the spanning of the organizational boundaries following the involvement with the enterprises involved in the B2B relationship. The processes are under joint management and agreed on by the partners (Meyer, 2007). The activities of the public process have an abstract nature with the support of the private processes. As a clear distinction aid, the public and private processes enable the corresponding organizations abstract the internal process management from the respective management processes across enterprises. The collaborative business models usage have been proposed under several application domains including the supply chain management. The collaborative models have the support of B2B relationship with the inclusion of public business processes jointly managed through partner organizations (Meyer, 2007). Some of the collaborative models necessitate the businesses to establish autonomous B2B with the partners enabling the organizations collaboration.
From the perspective of marketing, the collaborative models impose significant challenges in support of the management of the public business processes involved in B2B relationships and they are:
- Autonomy, the enterprises should have the ability to behave as relative autonomous entities, hiding their internal activities, decisions, and processes (Meyer, 2007). The information system in the management of B2B relationships in the enterprises should have independence.
- Decentralized management of the corresponding business processes through the enterprises joint management.
- Peer-to-peer interactions within the enterprises systems for the management of the B2B relationships to imply that the systems interact in a direct means without the independent third party system mediation
- Negotiation is inclusive in the management of the public processes.
- Although the proposal of web service composition and workflow approaches still stands in the management of the public processes, there are shortcomings presented in the achievement of autonomy, decentralization, negotiation, and P2P interaction capabilities.
B2B Relationships Interaction Protocols
The interaction protocols have been in the long run used in the major area of multi-agent systems for the representation of interactions among the involved agents (Hutt & Speh, 2013). In B2B context of relationships, interaction protocol enables the management and modeling of the interactions among the involved enterprises in the B2B relationship. The interactions represent the business processes of the public that the enterprises agreed on the aspect of collaboration. Through this means, adapting the concept to the B2B relationships, an interaction protocol enables the description of the high-level communication pattern (Hutt & Speh, 2013). This is through the admissible message sequence amid the enterprises playing different roles. The major objective of the interaction protocols is the abstraction of the public processes from specified services involved within the enterprises framework. This is for executing the supported public services internal activities (Hutt & Speh, 2013).
Within the system, different interaction protocols have one of the highest abstraction levels. An interaction protocol message does not represent the message on the business network. Interaction protocol message in implemented through the application of a lower-level protocol-involving network set of messages (Meyer, 2007). According to B2B three layers application, the interaction protocols transpire in the business process layer with the communication protocols occurring in the layer of communication. The major elements in the interaction protocol include messages, roles, control flows, conditions, deadlines, and logical connectors (Meyer, 2007).
The roles are the responsibility in terms of the message sequence the enterprises performs in the B2B relationship. Messages involve the expression of the interactions containing the semantics defining their form. A message can be a representation of the decision, business information, acceptation, acknowledgement, proposal, and rejection. The messages can be of the asynchronous forms or synchronous. Conditions are defined as the messages to represent when messages can be sent (Meyer, 2007).
The interaction protocol has two significant control flows. One of the control flows represents messages control flow defining the parallel or the alternative messages of the interaction protocol steps (Meyer, 2007). The second flow is a representation of the internal execution flow of the role describing the different reactions. These are of the roles to the incoming messages. The basic logical connectors are applicable in defining the control flows with deadline defined on the messages that represents time a role sends a message (Hutt & Speh, 2013).
B2B Standards and Interaction Protocols
The B2B standards enable the exchange of messages amongst the enterprises in the B2B relationship. B2B standards are also utilized in the implementation and the exchange of messages defining interaction protocols (Kurtz, 2014). The enterprises should consider an agreement on the B2B standard to be applicable in exchanging the interaction messages. This is to enable the enterprises implement different and independent systems for the joint execution of similar interaction protocols (Kurtz, 2014). This is without the application of the proprietary communication protocol at a lower level. The B2B standards are large in number and consist of the following specification elements:
- A machine-process able definition language for defining the public processes
- An exchange sequence defining the transactions possible as required through every message and the constraints of the specified message, performance and like time-outs
- The business documents structure involved in the content of the message
- The form in which the messages are packaged and transported on the corresponding networks through specified communication protocols including SMTP and HTTP
Messages Security Mechanisms
All the B2B standard elements necessitate the implementation of the interaction protocols. Some of the standards specify only the elements defining the business documents (Pride et al, 2007). The rest of the B2B standards enable the specification of the required elements. The implementation of a message using the B2B standards enables each of the interaction protocol messages to consist of more messages. The transaction messages enable the keeping of the message as a unit through the application of responses. In the business transactions, one of the roles performs the requesting of the specified activity with the other one performing the responding activity (Pride & Ferrell, 2007).
The B2B relationships are under the management of public and private entities with an explicit separation between the private and public processes managed in an independent means (Pride & Ferrell, 2007). The modeling of the public business process through an interaction protocol of the B2B relationships focuses on the messages enterprises exchanges for interaction and message orchestration. The interaction protocols facilitates greater enterprise autonomy in marketing framework since the enterprises hides internal activities, decisions and services necessitated for supporting public processes (Pride & Ferrell, 2007).
Public Business Processes Modeling with Interaction Protocols
In the B2B perspective of modeling interaction protocols, the two languages necessary includes the textual modeling language and the graphical language modeling (Villarreal et al, 2003). The former provides the intuitive semantics that enables the business marketing process designers understand and define the public process for interaction representation between partners. The second language enables the enterprises exchange the interaction protocol descriptions. They can be understood and process able through the information system of the B2B relationships for the interaction protocol execution (Villarreal, Salomone, and Chiotti, 2003).
The major difference that exists between the interaction protocols and the other approaches for public processes modeling is the interaction protocols not defining the services or activities (Kurtz, 2014). The modeling of the process with the aspect of the interaction protocols draws the focus on the messages sent and received through the roles of the enterprise in every step of the process. For exemplifying the interaction protocol modeling, capacity planning and collaborative planning processes are defined through a partner-partner collaborative model. The collaborative model carries out the business process amongst the enterprises manufacturing belonging to different chains of supply in the market (Kurtz, 2014). The model has a public business process carried out jointly by partners in a decentralized procedure. The collaborative model necessitates the enterprise establishment of an independent B2B relationship with the partners (Kurtz, 2014).
Interaction protocols in the B2B relationships perspective enable the management and modeling of public business processes consideration through autonomous and heterogeneous partners. This is for the relative achievement of B2B relationships goals. The protocols provide an abstraction framework level for modeling interactions that represents public processes. With the models of the B2B relationships, the messages exchanged by the corresponding enterprises are significant. The protocols of B2B also enable the implementation of interaction protocol for marketing systems fulfilling the collaborative business models requirements.
IMP communicative acts facilitate the definition of the B2B relationship interaction protocols without the consideration of the B2B standards applicable in the implementation process. Achieving the independence between the B2B standards and interaction protocols is possible. The independence provides several of the benefits to the business marketing practice. The enterprises have the ability to carry out implementation programs of the interaction protocol with their networks with different partners using B2N standards of different versions. The communicative acts also enable the B2B standards joint functionality for the provision of advanced solutions to the B2B environments. This enables the marketing enterprise systems supporting the B2B relationships to facilitate the understanding of same interaction protocol independent of the technologies used in building them.
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