Susan A. Sherer
We propose a model for implementing collaborative commerce in which independent companies form temporary alliances by combining their capabilities and capacity to meet market needs. Lessons from a case study of one of the earliest tests of agile collaboration among small firms, the Agile Web, Inc. guides implementation. The study illustrates that small firm owners may not have the expertise, time, or inclination to initiate new opportunities outside their existing markets, nor can they effectively manage across unfamiliar enterprises. An intermediary or a domain expert is required whose major responsibilities include: the identification of market opportunities, forming collaborative teams, and project managing the resulting virtual enterprise. Internet enabled information systems enhance the intermediaries’ productivity, enabling speedy formation, design, and operation of these alliances.