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E-Business Lab

Principal Investigator Hans Bjornsson
Master's Students Cheru John and Chris Thompson
Project Sponsor CIFE
Project Date
Description To address the needs of managers and engineers responsible for developing e-business activities, a Web-based multi-media collaborative network, referred to as The Virtual e-Business Lab (e-Lab) will be developed. This tool will be designed to help practitioners, as well as students, to grasp the complex dynamics of Internet based business models that are impossible to experiment with in real world situations. The system allows users, working alone or in teams, to build e-commerce business models and to experiment with them in a web based simulation environment. They can run simulations while animated panels display how transactions are progressing through the system between different actors.

This research will develop a Web based multimedia environment that can be used for experimenting with new technologies and e-commerce business models. This environment, The Virtual e-Business Lab (e-Lab), will integrate five domains: web-based simulations, strategic planning, engineering and management training, the Internet and the virtual organization. The e-Lab will allow users, students, working alone or in teams, to run businesses while experimenting with e-commerce technologies. It will allow the user to create new innovative business models and then test them in a simulated environment that closely resembles the real world where the experiments would have been impossible to do. It would simply have been too risky and costly.

The research will be concerned with how to develop an e-commerce business simulation tool that

  • addresses many of the problems associated with distributed application-based business simulation, including their platform dependence. This will be resolved by basing the simulation on the Web;
  • is highly configurable so that a user, a practitioner or an educator, can tailor the business simulation to reflect a specific business philosophy, market mediation mechanism, etc.;
  • is easy to set up, configure and use;
  • allows students to experiment with a range of e-commerce applications and technologies using a single educational tool.