by Paolo Manzelli 


Premise: contemporary Errors and Difficulties

Starting from the consideration that "e. commerce" is an activity without frontiers, it is possible to reflect on the serious gap for the future growth of Mediterranean "e. Society".

The gap is well focused observing the dissatisfying lack of access of Euro-Med SMEs to an effective presence in the contemporary development of the Global electronic market.

On the other end, it is necessary to underline the vital role of SMEs in global production for the future development of Mediterranean " e.Society", so that we need to operate for improving small and medium-size enterprises, to develop their rapid adoption of "e-commerce", since developmental strategies are crucial to continue economic success of EURO-MED countries .

Therefore, at first we need to understand how to overcome the general reluctance of SMEs to the electronic access in the "e. market", and we suppose that this diffident behaviour is a direct consequence of some difficulties that SMEs encounter when they point their attention to mature a new approach of e.business trade models for improving their products on "e.market".

One of the decisive obstacles for SMEs is coming from the deficit of an truly competitive "e.commerce promotion", that allows SMEs to access global market, encouraging them to advance in a networked relationships of a business to business perspective and for capture new customers and suppliers in "e.commerce".

Stating up to stimulate SMEs to advance in the dimension of "electronic market" first of all it will be a necessity to provide clearer views about partnership development of EXTENDED ENTERPRISES in the new path of the NETWORKED DIGITAL ECONOMY.

In fact common misunderstanding of SMEs regarding "e. commerce" is originated by mass media that develop a improper information on how easy it is to enter the "e. market", that persuades SMEs in believing that for "e. commerce" trade it is sufficient to click into the WEB and believe that the use of the Internet it is an easy and simple way to do new market profits and not expensive marketing on line.

Therefore mass-media information is acting to stimulate an inappropriate idea that every business in future belongs to the Internet. Given this way of distributing mass-information, mass-media are really responsible of the delusion of SMEs. Every time they discover there is a huge number of web pages, organised in portals and vortals etc.., visible on the World Wide Web, and their number is growing very fast, so that the confusion of information is so big that SMEs generally desist to develop any start up on "e.commerce" . Some time ago SMEs discover even that the major part of those information visible on WWW generally do not help SMEs to operate into unfamiliar foreign "e.market" for " e.", and/or for export/import and logistic of transport opportunities and so on.

In conclusion, we need to be clear that "e. commerce" is not only defined by "an interchange of goods, services or property of any kind through an electronic medium", but in spite of this simple statement "e. commerce" represent a very complex approach to contemporary trade development, because it is an integral part of a much broader social and economic change characterised by the globalisation of "e.market".

Beginning from this important consideration it is possible to understand and to employ some good strategies oriented for shifting SMEs trade opportunities, towards a traditional economy, to the new "economy of knowledge based development" that characterise the "e. society". progress. This complex change of economic and societal model has been called the "Digital Networked Economy" of the creative knowledge age, or in different expression the "NET-Economy paradigm for developing e.Society "


Images and Ideas for Problem Solving Projects.

In spite of previous considerations, aiming to support SMEs to the challenges of "e.commerce" globalization, the LRE-EGOCra NET and the PIN of the University of Florence think that it will be an important need , to define a strategy giving new possibilities to SMEs for outward expansion and growth that brings them to acquire competitive challenges in the globalization of "e. market" , by means the creation of EXTENDED ENTERISES for "e.society" evolution.


Therefore, recalling that the great industry responds to globalisation with a complex process of capital fusion for enlarging multinational enterprises, LRE-EGO-CreaNET and PIN start to investigate SMEs needs, and ultimately initiate to propose a number of different perspectives in a way that SMEs can be enclosed in the global competition of trade changes in "e.market", not as single isolated enterprises, but inside a process of developing EXTENDED ENTERPRISES in a way that change rapidly and radically their success factors and resources prospective of they competitiveness into the globalization of "e. market".

Since the launch of EUMEDIS "e.commerce" pilot project (see: http://www.ispo.cec.be/eumedis/englishversion/i_welcome_en.html ) LRE/EGO-CreaNET and PIN and also the Eurosportello of Confesercenti in Florence, begin to organise ideas and the strategies to develop as a semi-public multinational agency, able to work co-operatively as partner of SMEs enterprises for improving, with a methodology of "concerted action" , their competitiveness and management practices This Agency will be organised as a virtual multinational trade promotion organisation and is defined with the acronym ECKTAF ( Electronic Commerce Know How Telematics Agency).

" Concerned actions " means getting in a common communication strategy the know-how among SMEs , Universities, schools and Public and Private services, and also venture capital society , etc. looking for a mutual learning from each other, and adopting each other's best practices in telematics connectivity , with a view to improve and search for existing support measures, finalised to build up truly professional support chain of SMEs (with no profit and profit constitution) with the highest possible standards of technological quality and promotional competencies in the field of "e.commerce".

The global expansion of "e. market" is emerging from a new paradigm of "Concerned Actions in networked organisation" of developmental "e.Society" activities : in fact the "Extended Enterprise" becomes a new organisation of multinational management chain structure, able to extend any enterprise in internet–networking . It is a well documented practice that the growth of appropriate co-organisation of Extended Enterprises into the "space market" on the www , is able to change the rules of economic development, following principles very different in respect to the traditional ones; i.e. the economical convictions well known for the traditional trade application to the local market .

W. BRIAN ARTHUR (x), Citibank Professor at the Santa Fe Institute., conceives that, the NET-Economy of the Extended Enterprises, will be characterised by the principle of " increasing returns", rather than "diminishing returns of additional value" that it is typical of classical economy.

Prof. Brian Arthur educes this fundamental result from complexity of the "network effects" in world wide web of interactive global economy expansion.


The principle "increasing returns" sheds new light on understanding developmental strategy for the net economy applied to " e.commerce". ( see: An Interview with W. Brian Arthur in :

http://www.strategy-business.com/thoughtleaders/98209/page1.html ,


Believing in this new economical approach, the last but not the least reflection is that the Extended Enterprises networking affiliation, can be able to dismantling the barriers of SME’s in their start up role on the contemporary globalisation of "e.market", i.e Extended Enterprise telematisc connective model organization is acting as a catalyst for competitive advantage for any enterprise endeavour, in economy as well as in culture education and science into the evolution path of the new qualified knowledge framework of "e.Society".


Projects Implementation Preliminary Steps

The LRE-EGO.Crea-NET and the PIN of the University of Florence get a feeling to the positive effects of the emerging NET-ECONOMY in the construction of "e.Society " and so that they start to propose a multi-function (legal, economic, technological) networked partners affiliation acting on a EURO-MED international basis for improving a <<franchise-net strategy>> in co-operation with Promofranchising , a section of the Italian association of retailers CONFESRCENTI, aiming to elaborate a Pilot Project in "e. commerce" for the EUMEDIS call (Dead line 22/Jan./01)

Therefore following the above goal to recognise and experiment an EXTENDED ENTERPRISES strategy , for the growth of "e.Society", we are searching partners in the EURO-Med area , and during this exploration we think very useful to integrate out project ECKTAF with another similar proposal for Eumedis pilot projects in e.commerce named EL BAB .

The integration between the two projects EL BAB – ECKTAF will be discussed with some partners that get agreement on the projects melting on the basis of an overview of related pilot projects to the international conference (Prato 16/OCT/2000 )


E.Socitey Long Term Plan

If we envisage the challenge of improving the Emerging Digital Economy with a long term strategy rather than a short term "e.market developmental objective", we understand that renew of concept and methodology of technology-assisted training and education need to be increase at the same accelerated rate that "product" and "knowledge" life cycles are decreasing .

The last consideration means that it will be necessary to provide to new knowledge following the constructivist approaches, at breakneck speed for creating new professions by means new types of educational approaches laying their foundation on Web-based training and assessment electronic materials .

(see Web Based Training : The New Millennium -- Training at the Speed of Change : http://www.isoc.org/inet99/proceedings/2a/2a_1.htm )

Furthermore, since the launch program LEONARDO 2001-2003, and considering several factors: concerning the lack of new professions for developing a new knowledge paradigm of e.Society related to "e.commerce" , LRE/EGO-CreaNET and PIN of University of Florence initiate to propose a project on the issue: BRAIN-WORKERS KNOW NET, that will be submitted at the call LEONARDO (dead line 19-Jan.01) . This project follow the LEONARDO 2000 Net-Generation Net Economy Project for the professional schooling system

(see http://www.chim1.unifi.it/group/education) ; at difference of the last, the new project LEONARDO 2001 , will develop a strategy of "just in time education on demand lifelong learning oriented" , organised through a KNOW-HOW network inclusive of the creation of an "Extended networked Enterprise" among European, Schools, Universities, and Electronic Editors.

The long term goal of the KNOWLEDGE WORKERS KNOW NET project it will be growing up the greatest access to all citizen participation to the project for developing e.Society professional and cultural advancement.

To argument and to advance those projects the LRE/EGO-CreaNET and PIN of University of Firenze organise in Prato the 16/OCT/00 the international conference on EXTENDED ENTERPRISES for developing e.Society , aiming to open an effective debate tacking in advisement that tools of classical economics as well as traditional methods of learning are no longer adequate to advance the world economics globalization in the age of interactive knowledge:

Arguments of such debate will be the following :

-Socio-economic impact of the new connective paradigm in global development for "e-Learning" and e.Business" knowledge management.

- Management requirements for "e-Business / e.Training " distributed international infrastructures

-Strategic decision guidelines in advanced connective teleworking configuration in an extended "virtual" enterprises

- Franchise-net web-portals architecture for improving " e. commerce" chain- networks of Small and Medium Enterprises

- Franchise-net "e-learning " development : creative models model for education on demand.

- Developing test-solutions for "franchise-net e.Commrece" strategy

- Logistic support system prototype for "e. commerce" in Mediterranean area.

- Focus on the launch of EL-BAB -ECKTA Franchise-net - EUMEDIS e. Commerce Pilot -Project

- Comparation of experiences tools and approaches of some independent test-solution for improving "e.Commerce in Euro-Med basin.

Concluding this report I would like to underline this statement :