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Sub-areas of e-business

E-business (according to Duden), including eBusiness (in international texts) is the integrated execution of all automated business processes of a company with the help of information and communication technology (ICT). The term eBusiness can be used freely with the exception of protected compositions.


The term eBusiness has developed into a generic term that is used in a large number of brands. It is interpreted in different ways and is often used in an ambiguous way.

IBM had made the term popular in the 1990s through advertising campaigns that dealt with computer-aided procedures for the automation of trading processes and used the spelling "eBusiness" there. On October 7, 1997, the US IT and consulting company published an eight-page article in the Wall Street Journal . In this, eBusiness should serve as a key concept for how corporate systems would fundamentally change as a result of the Internet. IBM defines the term as "redesigning strategic business processes and mastering the challenges of a new market that is increasingly characterized by globalization and is based on knowledge ." The strategic business processes encompass the entire value chain and the relationships between a company and its partners. This definition of the term e-business leaves a more specific definition of the "redesign" open, as does the means by which e-business is to be implemented, whereby the term itself suggests implementation through electronic data processing .

Thome also defines eBusiness as the "integrated execution of all digitizable components of economic processes". This definition concretizes the redesign required by IBM by integrating the economic processes. Thome understands this to mean computer-aided and automated processing of information in economic processes without media discontinuity.

The term “economic process”, however, includes economic processes which, according to Thome, are not the subject of consideration when he defines that all efforts are meant in which economic agents cede goods for consideration.

Because of the two main meanings of the English noun " business ", two meanings for the term "eBusiness" can be derived.

Electronic commerce

On the one hand, eBusiness refers to the area of ​​trade, i.e. the process of buying and selling goods. In this sense, the term can be translated as electronic commerce . "Economic processes" refers to market - transactions . This is also the meaning of the definition presented by Thome.

Electronic company

With eBusiness but also the business in terms of business is meant so that a translation can also be "Electronic Business" or "electronic business". “Economic processes” then refers to the totality of business processes, which also include the preceding and subsequent market transactions. This definition follows the idea of eBusiness presented by IBM .


The statement used by Thome regarding “digitizable components” is also imprecise, as it only relates to the structural level of integration in automation and excludes automation of the behavioral level. The term “digitisable” should be replaced by “automatable” in relation to information and communication technologies, as the structural and behavioral levels are included. In addition, the term “automatable” would make it clear that the restrictions on economic efficiency and technical feasibility must be met in order to be able to map a business process using eBusiness .

According to this, eBusiness means “the integrated execution of all automatable business processes of a company with the help of information and communication technology.” This definition shows that eBusiness affects transaction costs through the integration of business processes on the one hand and the throughput time and transmission costs through automation on the other . However, since integration first takes place on the organizational side and this can then be automated with the help of ICT technologies, as far as technically feasible, successful implementation of eBusiness is tied to organizational adjustments such as process, task and data integration . Accordingly, eBusiness can generate the potential for success, but it can only be accessed by restructuring organizational processes.

The implementation of the eBusiness concept

Numerous aids are used to carry out all of a company's business processes that can be automated.

Special processes

Electronic collaboration

Electronic collaboration or e-collaboration stands for measures for decentralized computer-aided collaboration between teams and groups that are separated in time or space. Tools such as e-mail , calendars and, at the latest, enterprise wikis and blogs have established themselves in several stages . These tools (e-collaboration tools) are often used by teams that do not work at the same time or place, but on a common task or project.

Minimizing the work with documents in paper form

  • Digital incoming mail : All incoming mail is scanned and sent in digital form (mostly as PDF ) to the respective employees and departments.
  • Digital outgoing mail : Mail that has to be sent in paper form is printed and sent from a central point.

Optimizing customer service

  • (External) call centers are used for customer care so that the inquiries are already available as electronic memos.
  • Defined customer inquiries are answered automatically.

Software solutions used

The following software systems are u. a. used in eBusiness:

See also


  • Martin Eisenhut, Ralph Neukirchen: Putting e-business to work. In: Controlling. Issue 2, 2001, pp. 85-94.
  • S. Herden, J. Marx Gómez, C. Rautenstrauch, A. Zwanziger: Software architectures for e-business. Springer Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-540-25821-3 .
  • S. Herden, A. Zwanziger: A Mediator for Interorganisational Integration of Relationship Management Systems in E-Business. In: Proceedings of the IV. International Conference on Applied Enterprise Science. International Symposium on Business Informatics (CICE'2004). Santa Clara (Cuba) 2004, pp. 354-367.
  • Tobias Kollmann : E-Business - Basics of Electronic Business Processes in the Net Economy. 7th edition. Springer Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 2019, ISBN 978-3-658-26142-9 .
  • Christian Maaß: E-Business Management - Design of business models in the digital economy. UTB, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8252-2991-7 .
  • Macmillan: Business. In: M. Rundell (Ed.): Macmillan English Dictionary - For advanced learners of american english. Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2002, pp. 180f.
  • K. Prechel: e-Business in Germany. Use and marketing of e-business software. Vdm Verlag Dr. Müller, 2008, ISBN 3-8364-5814-4 .
  • M. Ringlstetter (Ed., 2001), Clicks in E-Business. Perspectives from start-ups and established corporations, Munich / Vienna 2001.
  • E. Staudt: The mobile society. In: HU Buhl (Ed.): Information Age Economy - 5th International Conference on Business Informatics. Physica-Verlag, 2001, p. 15ff.
  • R. Thome: e-business. In: Computer Science Spectrum. Volume 25, 2002, Issue 2, pp. 151ff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Herd and Twenties, 2004.
  2. Search engines of the European Trademark Office
  3. E-business. 1und1.de/digitalguide, May 8, 2018, accessed on June 18, 2019 .
  4. Staudt, 2001, p. 24.
  5. a b Staudt, 2001.
  6. a b Thome, 2002, p. 151.
  7. a b c Thome, 2002.
  8. a b Oxford, 1993, Langenscheidt, 1994, Macmillan, 2002.
  9. cf. Herd et al., 2006.