So who’s mopping the floor in local business-to-business e-commerce? IDC analyst Mark Cribbens name-checks network equipment provider Cisco Systems.
“It may not be a giant in New Zealand, but it does dominate its market and has a huge market share,” he says. “If any of its key clients want a product they have to travel to Cisco’s website.”
Cisco country manager Tim Hemingway says more than 80% of the company’s business worldwide is now transacted online, rising to 90% in New Zealand.
“But we see e-commerce as only part of the B2B model, and what we’re doing is building a whole lot of internet-based business tools to extend our relationships with customers and partners,” says Hemingway.
“The whole focus for us is making business more efficient,” he says. “In the past people have looked at using the internet to make sales, and while there is opportunity there, it’s not as huge an opportunity as making your business run efficiently and stay ahead of your competitors by driving costs out of the supply chain.”
Hemingway says the company is continuing to invest in its site, “so it can be our ongoing competitive advantage”.