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Ariba Cements Growing B2B Faith

B2B exchange platform Ariba has signed four new partners to its Commerce Services Network (CSN), bringing its customer acquisitions to over 100 suppliers in six months and perhaps even signalling a consolidation of faith in the trade platform.

The addition of American Express, eSign Australia, Mastercard and QSI Payments to the network is expected to propel Ariba further towards its goal of providing businesses in the region with a full spectrum of eCommerce services.

Ariba's CSN allows businesses to locate, connect and trade with each other through a global network for B2B commerce and collaboration, enabling enterprises to transact with their suppliers and extend marketplace reach to new buyers and suppliers.

The CSN is also Ariba's network infrastructure for delivering commerce services such as directory and registration, transaction management, catalogue, content delivery and discovery, financial, sourcing and logistics services to companies in the B2B ecosystem.

The Ariba CSN underlines the key principle of B2B e-commerce by aiming to lower the cost at the same time as increasing the value of transactions.

The announcement comes at the same time as rivals corProcure, a B2B venture including Coles Myer, Foster's Brewing Group and AMP, have announced their intention to go live in April, adding to the challenge put forward by fellow competitors Cyberlynx, another B2B venture this time supported by the Commonwealth Bank, Woolworths, Lion Nathan and others.

Online marketplaces have been met with growing scepticism from e-commerce analyst group such as The Gartner Group and Forrester Research, who have cited problems flimsy business models, incompatible platforms, lack of incentive and cost as barriers to uptake. Their point has been proven as several models in the US have collapsed in the past few months.

However, the four new Ariba customers mean that over 100 suppliers from diverse industry and commodities sectors such as office products and consumables, safety equipment, industrial supplies, maintenance and spares and electrical products have joined the Ariba Commerce Services Network in Australia since June 2000. Globally, over 30,000 selling organisations are accessible on the Ariba CSN.

"Our target is to reach 150 suppliers by March 2001," said Ariba Australia and New Zealand's CEO Allan Smith. "Through our supplier enablement programme and our 'zero cost to suppliers' approach, Ariba will continue to attract a critical mass of suppliers to the Ariba CSN, benefiting all customers," he said.

Ariba hopes that by linking its CSN with service providers such as American Express, eSign Australia Limited, Mastercard and QSI Payments, the exchange will be able to streamline the integration of those services into transactions generated by both Ariba and non-Ariba applications.

Ariba's chairman and CEO Keith Krach said the alliance with the four new service providers meant that Ariba customers could now deploy the range of commerce services required to complete the a range of business transactions. "Together, through the tight integration between our respective solutions, we represent a combined value proposition to Australian businesses," he said.



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