Any business function attended over the last year to two years has been jam-packed with people talking about the surge of B2B (Business-to-Business) ventures--certainly deemed the next big wave in today's New Economy.
Is the interest waning a bit in B2B, or are we at a crossroads in which we are searching for the next trend?
The Big 5 firms and their consulting arms speculate over the future of B2B. Deloitte Consulting recently reported that the number of U.S. online marketplaces has peaked at less than 1,300 of the worldwide total of 1,500 and 'is on track for a slide.'
A representative from Arthur Andersen disagrees. 'Business-to-business was hot earlier this year and it's still really hot,' says Kevin Costello, managing partner of Andersen's digital markets practice. 'I think we're on the brink of seeing some really good execution. But there will also be consolidation and many marketplaces will go out of business.'
Analysts say that businesses are confused as to which sector to hook up with because there are so many choices on the Internet, and these choices come and go so quickly.
Just a few months back analysts predicted the appearance of as many as 10,000 online marketplaces in which a company could participate in the B2B environment, but the latest report from Deloitte Consulting suggests that as many as 1,000 of today's 1,500 sites may be gone over the next several years, either due to failure or consolidation with other sites.