In contrast, Duncan introduces the "network-centric" connectivity model that enables " a many to many community of buyers and suppliers." Actually, it's often a one-to-many approach in most cases (e.g., Ariba) because of architectural limitations in being both a buyer and seller on the same network, but I'll leave that point alone. What's more important is the business model and why a networked approach makes more sense. Here, Duncan suggests he favors the network model and uses the analogy of mobile phone networks to compare proprietary and point-to-point supplier connectivity approaches vs. network-drive ones.
Duncan notes regarding mobile phone networks, "the current situation is as if we have to carry dozens of separate phones around with us, one for each of the customers that might call us up. I want to be able to send my purchase orders to one B2B provider and have it forward them to all the networks that my suppliers have chosen, just as I currently call them from a T-Mobile phone and they answer from a Vodafone service. I don't want one dominant network that can charge extortionate fees, nor do I want dozens of sub-scale providers that won't work with each other."
In other words, Duncan hopes that SAP moves in this network-centric direction. And I do as well, embracing the broader Crossgate capabilities as well as its Hubwoo relationship to drive networked models across its SRM base (and eventually sourcing and supplier management base).