Gartner says B2B will hit $US7.3 trillion by 2004

Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce will continue its rapid pace of growth, generating $US7.29 trillion in sales transactions worldwide in 2004, according to a report published yesterday by the research firm Gartner Group.

          Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce will continue its rapid pace of growth, generating $US7.29 trillion in sales transactions worldwide in 2004, according to a report published yesterday by the research firm Gartner Group Inc.

          The B2B market, worth $US145 billion in 1999, will make up a full 7 percent of the forecasted $US105 trillion in total global sales in four years time, the study said.

          The business of establishing e-commerce capabilities -- for start up companies and traditional brick and mortar companies -- will itself be a driving factor in the growth of B2B e-commerce, what Gartner Group calls "e-market maker activity."

          The report estimates that such activity will make up 37 percent of the B2B e-commerce market, worth $US2.71 trillion, by the year 2004.

          The Gartner Group report specifically singled out Chemdex Corp., VerticalNet Inc., Altra Energy Technologies Inc. and Commerce One Inc. as some of the most notable e-market makers to date.

          Such companies help traditional brick and mortar businesses create and run extranets, B2B Web storefronts and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Gartner Group said.

          Though the emergence of B2B e-commerce will create some instability in global markets in the short term, the overall result will be increased efficiency for business in the long run, the report said.

          This year should generate $US403 billion in B2B e-commerce revenue; $US953 billion in 2001; $US2.18 trillion in 2002 and $US3.95 trillion in 2003, Gartner said.

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