Businesses use the Internet in different ways. Some use it as a part of their business, while some use it to run the entire business. In this lesson, we will discuss the differences between e-business enhanced and e-business enabled businesses.
Involved and Committed
One would think we could not learn a lot from a simple bacon and egg breakfast. We have our bacon, our eggs and maybe some coffee. However, there is a very simple business rule that can be learned from this tasty breakfast, and that is that the chicken was involved, but the pig was committed. In other words, the chicken contributed to the breakfast by supplying eggs, but the pig committed to the breakfast by giving up his life.
World of E-Business
E-business is all around us and is generally understood to be any business or business communication that is conducted via the Internet. Purchasing products or services online, getting help via an Internet chat, even Skype could be considered some form of e-business. If you notice, the one thing all these different types require is, indeed, the Internet. It has become the glue that holds businesses and consumers together and allows us to talk and work with each other 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if needed.
However, when it comes to e-business, just like with our breakfast, there are some companies that are the chicken and some that are the pig. The level of their involvement resides in several areas:
- The type of product or service they provide. Crazy as it sounds, some products or services cannot be completely Internet-based (dentist, automotive repair, etc.).
- The level of involvement and how technology-savvy the business is. Let's face it, you can use the Internet for just about anything but you have to understand technology, how fast it changes and be savvy enough to implement it in your business.
E-Business and Technology in Companies
The type of product or service determines if it can be offered via an e-business platform
While it is true the type of product or service does dictate if it can be offered via an e-business platform (or to what degree it can be offered), that platform is built by how much technology a company uses internally to communicate within their four walls, or other offices.
So, if a company uses Skype, video conferencing or even Twitter, it stands to reason they understand the Internet and are embracing how to use it. They are not shying away from it and are using it as part of their daily work routine. Doing that, as simple as it sounds, helps companies and people to feel comfortable with the technology and integrate it into their business, which eventually means integrating it into how their customers interact and work with them.
The company can now use these Internet-based facets of communication (Twitter, Skype, etc.) and begin to incorporate them into interactions with their customers. Let's take a look at a few examples:
- You can now live chat with a customer service person online, rather than wait on hold.
- Some doctors and hospitals use telemedicine to see patients in remote areas. They use video conferencing to see and talk to the patient so they can try to help the person feel better.
- You can post a question about a product or service to a blog or online forum, and search them as well, to get answers to questions you might have.
Enabled and Enhanced
So what types of e-business companies are there? Again, while the level of involvement each company has or the degree of e-business they do can vary, we have two basic types of e-business companies: e-business enabled and e-business enhanced.
E-business enabled means an organization that works manually (paperwork), but it can also be operated online (accessed via computer). It is easy to understand the e-business enabled companies as pretty much any company that is out there. Most companies use some type of Internet or e-business, and most have some type of blending of paper and paperless (or the Internet) work and interaction with customers.
They might still send invoices or purchase orders, and yet they can have customers contact them via live chat or make appointments to see them online. For this type, the Internet is not critical, but important, to the work and business they perform. Examples might be medical offices, factories, utility companies and stores.
E-business enhanced are the ones who only work via the internet. Without computer access, it is nonfunctional. An example would be Amazon.com. For e-business enhanced, the Internet is like a lifeline. They simply cannot run without the Internet, and it is a huge part of how their company operates.
Think about the airline industry. When was the last time you went to the airport to book a ticket? Today, that would be almost unheard of because the Internet has permeated the airline industry so much it has taken over for travel agents and ticket counters. Now, even our boarding pass can be printed at home, making it even more convenient for everyone.
Back to that tasty breakfast. You can see now how some companies are all in when it comes to e-business and how some are just involved. Remember, e-business enabled means an organization that works manually (paper work), and it can be also operated online (it can be accessed via a computer); while e-business enhanced companies are the ones who only work via the internet. Without computer access, it is nonfunctional.
You will be able to differentiate between e-business enabled and e-business enhanced companies after watching this lesson.