Much of the recent excitement in the B2B commerce space has been around e-Marketplaces and has focused on "dynamic pricing" or "matching" solutionssuch as auctions, reverse auctions, and exchanges. These solutions have been used generally in marketplaces that deal with indirect or commoditygoods. However, the move is on to build e-Marketplaces, both at the industry sector and niche level, that will facilitate strategic sourcing(i.e., for strategic production goods). Hurwitz Group believes that the same solutions that have fueled the growth of some of the e-Marketplacesmay not necessarily be effective when goods are either highly customized, costly, or complex, which is the case with many strategic goods.Over the last few months, there have been a number of announcements from software companies seeking to address the complexities inherent in theprocess of buying or selling complex, costly, or customized product via the e-Marketplace model. Two examples include:Cambridge, Massachusetts-based TradeAccess Inc. The TradeAccess EcommBuilder(tm) negotiation platform provides a solution, targeted ate-Market makers and companies, that enables some automation of B2B buying and selling. The solution includes features such as:Price list managementInternational trade payment methodsOnline RFQ\/RFP creationSample orderingOnline Bill-of-Materials and Master Purchase Agreement creationBurlington, Massachusetts-based Emptoris, Inc. The Emptoris ePass(tm) solution provides strategic sourcing and RFQ management solutions fore-Market makers and the global 2000. The solutions includes features such as:Complex RFP construction and handling, utilizing intelligent workflow and complex business rulesThe ability to bundle products\/servicesAdvanced decision-support capabilities built around an optimization engineTHE HURWITZ TAKEThe current e-Marketplace model has been implemented primarily for certain types of goods and services including indirect goodsand some commodities. However, these dynamic pricing\/matching systems really just involve bringing two parties together around two variables:price and availability. B2B trade around goods that are either very costly, highly customized, or complex i.e., the characteristics of manystrategic production goods usually requires an iterative\/interactive contract negotiation process that culminates in a legally bindingagreement. Hurwitz Group believes that many of the solutions out there today cannot effectively address the complexity of how strategic goods arebought and sold. Although B2B e-Commerce can never be totally automated, companies like TradeAccess and Emptoris are taking a step towardimplementing functionality that can help streamline pieces of this process. \u00a9 2000 Hurwitz Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The Hurwitz Group Inc. can be reached at 508-872-3344 or Hurwitz Group, Inc.