The Future of B2B e-Commerce: There’s an App Store for That

Vice President, Marketing, Basware, Inc.

Following is the final blog in a series based on a discussion between Bob Cohen, Basware VP North America, and Andrew Bartolini, Chief Research Officer, Ardent Partners and author of the recently published study e-Payables 2014: The Quest.  During their conversation, a range of purchase-to-pay trends were discussed, including e-payments, business networks and social, mobile and cloud enablement. This blog focuses on the future of B2B e-commerce.  

Bob Cohen: Where are e-payments heading?

Andrew Bartolini: We’re in the very early stages of a payments market transformation. This market has relied on banks with batch file transfers and a very slow and clunky way to make payments.  The move to e-payments is like moving from DOS to Windows.  AP departments need solutions that are much more usable, and these innovative e-payment solutions will allow organizations to manage all of their payments in a centralized dashboard, as well as allow suppliers to view the payments. This greater visibility will unlock value for buyers and suppliers alike. It will enable companies to benefit from the timing of payments and potentially, the discounts that are offered or taken.

Bob Cohen:  What is the next big thing that you’re expecting in e-commerce?

Andrew Bartolini:  The area of e-payments is really hot, and we expect to see a shift over the next couple of years, specifically with new products, new players, and streamlined processes and innovation to create win-win opportunities for both trading partners – buyers and sellers alike. Business commerce networks are the most logical place for the next level of innovation to occur across trading partner supply chains implementing B2B e-commerce. We’re getting to a place where there will be a true network effect, where each additional participant is going to ultimately add value to all the participants.  

As the networks continue to grow and thrive, they’re going to become selling opportunities for third-party technology companies, or third-party service providers to sell their services to the larger population.  They can do this much in the same way as the Apple App Store, which has become a prevalent marketplace for fantastic ideas, innovations and value to everybody who owns an iPhone.  We think that those types of innovations are really needed to get supply chain, supply management, and B2B e-commerce to the next level.  And as it stands today, we think that business commerce networks are going to be the most logical place for these services and third parties to sell their products and drive value.


To download the complete Ardent Partners’ report, e-Payables 2014: The Quest, click here »