Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina urged e-business leaders to get used to partnering, to get good at managing risk, and to run fast during her keynote presentation at i2's Planet 2000 conference in San Diego Monday.
"Collaborative planning is about flexibility and agility," Fiorina said. "Those aren't prevalent in e-business leaders today, but will be the qualities of tomorrow's leaders."
Fiorina offered details of Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP's own efforts to create exchange marketplaces, including one to sell excess parts such as Intel microprocessors. That exchange, Tradinghubs.com, brought HP a 44 percent higher price for the extra parts.
Another exchange created to buy supplies helped HP trim inventory by as much as 30 percent, Fiorina said. In addition, the company has created a trading community with its primary customers: IT organizations. And HP also created an online database of design components in order to streamline the design of new products by reducing the time required for parts research.
"Business-to-business [commerce] requires systems and individuals to act in new ways," Fiorina said. Those new ways include exchanges with many participants on both the buy and sell side, and integration among many systems including purchase and inventory management.
The next important trend for e-business will be linking different online exchanges, Fiorina said. Such links create collaborative communities where flexibility and agility become key traits for assuring success.
Finally, in order to achieve collaboration among business partners and exchanges and to make the e-business infrastructure scalable, Fiorina told business leaders they must implement open systems.
"Proprietary solutions commit the business to a legacy system," Fiornia said. So open systems are the best way for e-businesses to evolve quickly.
And in the New Economy, faster is better than slower, and sooner is better than later, Fiorina said.
"Time is not on any of our sides," Fiorina said.