Baltic IT&T

ICT Events



ICT Market   




Baltic IT&T 2011

ICT Calendar


Hosted by:

About journalSite Map
Home > Articles > ICT Market

ICT Market266

The E-Business Community Model and Its Role in Future Education

Since November 2005, a project called eBCM-VET has been developing a programme for vocational education and training in the area of E-business. The project has received support from the European Unions Leonardo da Vinci programme, and it represents a holistic approach to the E-Business Community Model (eBCM).

Madis Sassiad, CEO, FocusIT, Estonia


The European Network of National Test-beds for E-business (ETeB) is described as a network of fully operational national E-business economies serving as a model to facilitate E-business in Europe and globally.  As part of the Lisbon Strategy, which seeks to turn Europe into the worlds most competitive region by 2010, the ETeB is aimed at establishing a common model and benchmark for the E-business economy.  The work is based on the results of a series of E-business pilot projects, with relatively small national economies serving as test-beds.

A consortium led by Iceland has developed a sustainable approach for advancing B2B E-business.  The E-business Community Mode Research & Assessment Project (eBCM-RAP) is financed by the Nordic Innovation Centre.  The eBCM-VET project represents an advancement of the eBCM-RAP project.  This is part of the ETeB initiative, which includes a five-year programme aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of participating nations via the process of E-business.

The E-Business Community Model, or eBCM, represents a holistic, generic and multidisciplinary approach to issues which are seen as important in the development, adaptation and large-scale breakthrough of E-business.  E-business development, in the context of the eBCM, is seen as a process aimed at renewing ICT-based business practices.  The model serves as a point of reference for research, development, demonstration, implementation and benchmarking for the E-business economy.  See Figure 1 for an illustration of the models structure.

The main principle here is a new paradigm which leads to more flexible sharing of knowledge, resources and assets in the ICT-supported business environment.  This is based on well-defined interfaces and the virtualisation of infrastructures.  The process is to be powered by the eBCM model, thus promoting a more collaborative mindset, the role of standards, regulations and contracts, various measures to enhance trust and confidence, as well as measures of alignment.

The mission of the eBCM model is to operate as a cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary point of reference in this paradigm shift by assisting in the introduction, promotion, justification and implementation of ICT-enabled business practice renewal.


The focus of the eBCM-VET project is on the concept of training trainers in terms of E-business knowledge and skills.  Someone with successful hands-on experience in the target sector (in this case, the retail supply chain) becomes a personal trainer for individuals or small groups.  The programme provides the knowledge which the trainer needs so that he and she can interact with employees in the target group people who surely want to do better at their jobs but may lack channels and opportunities to do so.

The eBCM-VET project analyses the target groups needs in a systematic, co-ordinated and co-operative manner.  A creative environment is established to develop solutions which serve this need, ones which design and produce materials and methodologies.  The solutions and materials are to be tested in pilot projects which focus on real-life situations.  Participants will learn to apply the solutions in the conditional environment of the target group, as well as in wider user groups and geographical contexts.  Results of the analysis will be published on the projects Web site.

The expected short-term impact of the project will be raised awareness about the kinds of vocational training and education which are needed for the target group in the various sectors, also looking at available methods, knowledge and materials for satisfying the needs.  The project will also create a recognised methodology to assess the status of the current and final target groups and sectors when it comes to E-business knowledge and readiness.  There will also be guidance on how to advance the level of knowledge and skills in the target group so as to achieve the benchmarks within the various sectors.

The long-term impact for the project will involve socio-economic benefits which are the result of the increased capabilities of the target group in the area of E-business.  There will be improved business efficiency and, therefore, increased net output in the relevant sectors.  The partner group involves organisations and consortia which have national networks and are well-positioned to reach out to the target groups and sectors, academia and training organisations.  They all provide vocational education and training and/or the advancement of E-business as a priority area in their operations.  These are the partners:




EITS (Estonian Information Technology Society)


TIEKE (Information Society Development Centre)


VR (Commercial Workers Union of Reykjavik)


IST (Icelandic Standards)


CCIR (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania)


The target group for these projects is made up of individuals who work in the value chain of selling and distributing products and services for businesses.  These are officer workers and managers who, in one way or another, need to use electronic communications and information processing technologies in their work and in related activities.

Target sectors include companies which handle B2B (business-to-business) and B2G (business-to-government) operations importers, exporters, manufacturers, warehouse operations, as well as sourcing and distribution companies.

The end users of the results will be office workers and managers whose work environment requires skills which are beyond their present knowledge and capabilities, whether perceived or real.  The results of the project will be transferred to office workers and managers in other commercial and government sectors such as insurance, banking, travel and tourism, business, and governmental services.


The first job in the eBCM-VET project was to analyse the need for vocational training in the area of E-business.  This was done in four countries Estonia, Finland, Romania and Iceland.  The aim was to identify the needs of office workers and managers in the B2B supply chain in the four countries.  The framework for analysis was defined on the basis of the nature of jobs and projects handled by people who work in the value of chain of selling and distributing products and services.  The analysis and reporting were organised in line with the core clusters and key elements of the E-business Community Model, or eBCM.

A total of 28 people took part in eight focus groups.  As is always the case in research projects, the findings cannot be extrapolated to the entire target group, but they do offer a good look at the level of knowledge which prevails in the various countries when it comes to E-business.

Here are some of the findings:

         Managers and employees seem to have relatively good comprehension of E-business and its potential benefits;

         Almost all participants prefer training within companies;

         Public schools might play a role in terms of basic training and the facilitation of greater understanding related to the importance and impacts of E-business;

         Web-based training is possible, and in some countries it is the preferred method;

         Many respondents agree that it is best to use printed materials along with Web-based training.


The current Work Package (WP2) is called the Education and Training Programme.  Over the next several months, experts will review the data and present ideas on the best ways to serve the determined needs.  The final result of WP2 will be a syllabus which will allow individuals to select their own way of learning about E-business practice, experimental studies, or personal interaction with trainers.

The next Work Package (WP3), Pilot Education and Training, will begin next year, and it offers an opportunity to pilot-test the methodologies and materials in a real-life situation.  The pilot training will be organised in Estonia and Iceland.  The target group will be made up of individuals and companies which deal with fast-moving consumer goods.  The training will be free of charge, and it is expected that responses from participants will help to improve the training materials and methodologies.


E-business performs a more and more important role in our everyday lives.  Those not yet involved in E-business must consider it seriously in order to ensure competitiveness in future.  The eBCM-VET Project offers a very good opportunity for people to learn or to train their employees in the fundamentals of E-business.

Rating - 0 (0 Votes)
My rating:
My comment:
Web site owners do not carry responsibility for materials submitted by commentators and reserve rights to delete ones violating legal regulations and breaching of the decencies. Thank you for understanding!


Top news
Instantly online - 17 golden rules to combat online risks and for safer surfing mobile social networks [3]
Experts Warn of ICT Labour Shortage and Loss of Competitive Edge in Europe by 2015
Lithuanian organisations has been active to participate in CIP ICT PSP third call

Question for readers
How secure you evaluate your information and data?
Highly secure
Quite secure, but some security improvements are needed
Security is insufficient
No security at all