ERCIM Working Group on Electronic Commerce
The new ERCIM working group on Electronic Commerce addresses various aspects of problems related to any form of business transaction in which the parties interact electronically rather than by physical exchanges or direct physical contacts. The use of new technologies, based on performant exchange of electronic information, opens attractive perspectives in terms of quality of service and global competition.
In this sense, electronic commerce drastically modifies the internal organization of companies enabling them to be more efficient and flexible in their operations. It also fundamentally affects their relations with other actors on the market place. Overcoming physical constraints, the virtual word of electronic commerce allows companies to select the best suppliers regardless their geographical location, enhances the possibilities of electronic retailing including a more responsive response by the companies to the needs and expectations of their customers. Such changes, on a global scale, will affect both organization and business processes. They are the source of innovative developments but also bring new challenges to be taken up in the near future.
The objective of the WG is to gather skills in many technical, social and legal domains and to provide a framework for developing new technologies and methods to fully exploit the opportunities offered by electronic commerce. The following topics are of particular interest:
- various forms of electronic commerce (relations between business - consumers - administrations)
- market place (new tools and methods)
- quality of services (marketing, customized products and services, pre and post-sale support)
- Extended, virtual and networked enterprises
- Legal framework (contractual and financial issues, Intellectual Property Rights)
- security (confidentiality, authentication, global certification system)
- electronic payment systems ('traditional' and electronic money)
- communication aspects (EDI, integration of various services: mail, phone, fax)
- internationalisation (multilingual aspects)
Christine Vanoirbeek Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Tel: +41 21 693 25 75