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Ecommerce (e-commerce) or electronic commerce, a subset of ebusiness, is the

purchasing, selling, and exchanging of goods and services over computer networks (such as
the Internet) through which transactions or terms of sale are performed electronically.
Contrary to popular belief, ecommerce is not just on the Web. In fact, ecommerce was alive
and well in business to business transactions before the Web back in the 70s via EDI
(Electronic Data Interchange) through VANs (Value-Added Networks). Ecommerce can be
broken into four main categories: B2B, B2C, C2B, and C2C.

• B2B (Business-to-Business)
Companies doing business with each other such as manufacturers selling to
distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers. Pricing is based on quantity of order
and is often negotiable.

• B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
Businesses selling to the general public typically through catalogs utilizing shopping
cart software. By dollar volume, B2B takes the prize, however B2C is really what the
average Joe has in mind with regards to ecommerce as a whole.

Having a hard time finding a book? Need to purchase a custom, high-end computer
system? How about a first class, all-inclusive trip to a tropical island? With the
advent ecommerce, all three things can be purchased literally in minutes without
human interaction. Oh how far we've come!

• C2B (Consumer-to-Business)
A consumer posts his project with a set budget online and within hours companies
review the consumer's requirements and bid on the project. The consumer reviews
the bids and selects the company that will complete the project. Elance empowers
consumers around the world by providing the meeting ground and platform for such
transactions.

• C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer)
There are many sites offering free classifieds, auctions, and forums where individuals
can buy and sell thanks to online payment systems like PayPal where people can
send and receive money online with ease. eBay's auction service is a great example
of where person-to-person transactions take place everyday since 1995.

Companies using internal networks to offer their employees products and services online--
not necessarily online on the Web--are engaging in B2E (Business-to-Employee)
ecommerce.

G2G (Government-to-Government), G2E (Government-to-Employee), G2B (Government-to-


Business), B2G (Business-to-Government), G2C (Government-to-Citizen), C2G (Citizen-to-
Government) are other forms of ecommerce that involve transactions with the
government--from procurement to filing taxes to business registrations to renewing
licenses. There are other categories of ecommerce out there, but they tend to be
superfluous.
Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which allows a user to interact with a
computer-simulated environment, whether that environment is a simulation of the
real world or an imaginary world.

Video conferencing in its most basic form is the transmission of image (video) and
speech (audio) back and forth between two or more physically separate locations

 Point-to-point – A videoconference that connects two locations.

 Each site sees and hears the other sites at all times

Point-to-multipoint – A videoconference that connects to more than two sites


through the use of a multi-point control unit, or MCU.Participants at all sites can
hear one another at all times and see the site that is currently speaking.

 Voice activated switching

Multi-point conferencing can be effective although the scheduling, technical, and


logistical dimensions of MCU conferences can be imposing

USES:

 Presentations

 Virtual meetings

 Videoconference-based learning

 JIT (just in time) events

 Recruitment/search committees

 General meetings

Sofwares:

• CoolTalk A Netscape Helper Application tool utilizing real-time audio and data
collaborationfor the Internet. Full-duplex audio conferencing, chat tool and
whiteboard sharing.

• Digiphone is the conferencing software designed to work with VideoTalk hardware


to form a complete Internet telephony package. (see below)
• Intel Internet Video Phone Several products from Intel combine to provide an
extensive integrated telecommunications environment especially suited to graphics,
photo and video sharing: Intel Create-and-Share Phone pack contains hardware
(digital imaging camera, video capture card, and 56,6 modem) along with software
including the Intel Video-Phone. Features unique to this system involve collaborative
creation and sharing of video and graphic imaging applications.

• Free Phone is an audio-conferencing tool for the Internet developed by members of


the High-Speed Networking group at INRIA (video-conferencing) within the MERCI
(Multimedia European Research Conferencing Integration) project.

• FreeTel from FreeTel Communications High-quality sound audio conferencing. Text


chat and file-transfer. The software is free if you will put up with advertising or
$39.95 if you want to disable the ads.

• Gather Talk Multi-party voice conferencing support - GatherTalk supports private,


point-to-point and group conferencing of up to 5 people using 28.8kbps modems and
more through ISDN and LAN connections. All connections are direct and an
asynchronous mixer is used to allow all people able to speak at anytime. Although
Gather Talk does not currently support application sharing, it does have whiteboard
and OLE sharing, chat and most recently (9/18/97) video conferencing. Beta versions
are free to download for two-week trials and registered versions are inexpensive (2
licenses for $29.95).

• Internet Call From the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Internet CALL is a very
easy-to-use Internet phone software supporting long distance calls without long
distance call charges. Full-duplex/half-duplex support. Beta versions are free to
download.