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Introduction to Emerging Business Online: Global Markets and the Power of B2B Internet Marketing

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In this introduction to their book, Emerging Business Online: Global Markets and the Power of B2B Internet Marketing, the authors explore how and why the Internet and related technologies are redefining how we conduct business globally.

We live in an age of information overload, significantly facilitated by the Internet. Anyone from almost anywhere can send, access, and post information across the globe in a matter of seconds. As applications and technologies continue to evolve, our ability to leverage the Internet will continue to impact the way we work and live.

The ubiquity of media connectivity also generates understandable worries about losing the benefits of face-to-face collaboration and "the human touch." Without question, people will continue to gather and meet for business, social, and family reasons. This is in our cultural and biological DNA and will never change. Millions of people around our world dismissed aspects of email, social media, or even cell phones decades ago, only to eventually understand how they complemented or improved existing practices and connections. We should adapt and use new technologies when they serve our common interests and humanity.

A new-generation technology prompted the authors to write this book, a technology that, like social media and email before it, can become a part of the daily lives of millions of people. That technology is telepresence, the next generation of videoconferencing technology. Telepresence uses the Internet to transfer conference calls as well as high-definition images and presentations. It can provide life-size images and surround sound and can thus create the illusion that all the attendees are in the same room.

Holographic videoconferencing is an application that beams three-dimensional images of people into a room. This is but one example of existing and emerging technologies that present an effective and responsible alternative to world leaders and business executives who currently fly around the world and ride in limousines to meeting locations. Digital and information technologies are allowing businesses in emerging markets to dramatically upgrade their business processes and operations.

As billions of people now access the Internet, emerging nations and markets are increasing their investments in these technologies to give people greater access (and speed) to information. This book explores how and why the Internet and related technologies are redefining how we conduct business globally. We identify the most salient new ideas shaping the global information marketplace, and explore how these offer government and private sector managers a new generation of digitally based management and communication tools.

It's a Small World After All

The world is smaller. Distance and time no longer present insurmountable barriers to doing business on a global scale. The Internet reduces the need to travel for meetings, and it speeds up the flow of information. Co-authoring this book models the effectiveness of virtual communication. Although we reside in two different countries, interactive web conferencing tools enabled us to edit the chapters and exchange information as effectively as working face to face. We were able to share our desktops so that each one could view the document in real time as it was being edited.

Web conferencing tools allowed for the use of Voice over Internet calls, which let us talk for free or at the charge of the monthly subscription and Internet connection. We conducted research by recording Internet conference calls and then playing back the information. We pitched the manuscript to FT Press using web conferencing tools to share presentations and creative ideas. The FT Press editors are based in America and Australia; one of us is in Africa, and the other is in Europe: four continents, connected virtually.

Both of us hold professional positions with global organizations and take part in virtual teams focused on emerging markets (EMs). Therefore, we've seen firsthand the transformational effect of web applications that enable us to share work, participate in telemeetings, and otherwise communicate with clients, vendors, and partners. Among other professional duties, we are often tasked with executing and managing online marketing campaigns for EMs. From these successes, we have perfected the ebocube (emerging business online) model.

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