Many B2B exchanges have failed in recent years, while a few operators survived the hype and reached the break-even point. Since the operators in these exchanges are business service providers, their survival is linked to the value they render to user firms (just as for any other intermediate service activity), while potential participants will join the exchange only if this choice may improve their competitiveness and increase value. This article proposes a different perspective to discuss the role of these exchanges, in which the competitive impact provided becomes the main driver for participant firms— and the main driver for the success of exchanges. A survey of B2B exchanges shows that participating firms can extract value from internal activity management and from interorganizational network participation, which improves efficiency and exploits partnership opportunities. Specific resources support these drivers of value creation with different competitive features. For firms, participation in B2B exchanges should become a deliberate long-term strategy to sustain their competitive positions. B2B operators need to address their business models to the competitive needs of potential users.
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