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14

Chapter 1 : Where we've come from

Interconnectedness The third digital commerce disruption is interconnectedness.

Many IT projects over the last two decades have centered

on systems integration. In today s world systems - ERPs,

order management, back-end, front ends, middle ends - can

communicate with each other much more easily than in the

past. As systems talk to each other better and better, more

fruitful collaboration takes place, both within and between

companies. This collaboration creates benefits throughout

the value chain - benefits that extend all the way to the

customer.

The perfect example of these collaborations is TMall Global,

owned by Alibaba. Chinese customers are able to buy

products - for businesses or themselves - from anywhere

around the world at great prices. It s a new collaborative

channel for foreign brands to enter the Chinese market,

which is the largest eCommerce Market in the world.

A major innovation driving this type of collaboration is the

application programming interface (API). APIs let diverse

systems talk to each other efficiently, which breaks down

boundaries in order to fuel business collaboration.