Two E-Commerce Groups Merge

Two Silicon Valley-based e-commerce consortiums joined forces Tuesday in an effort to advance online businesses on a global scale.

Non-profit groups CommerceNet and the Open Network for Commerce Exchange (ONCE) said they will consolidate resources and create a new membership division, the nucleus of which will consist of the existing ONCE organization, its members, programs, and employees. As part of the CommerceNet organization, ONCE said it will expand its services to include a dedicated network infrastructure and an improved member information Web site.

“The merger represents a natural evolution for both organizations to bring together our mutual strengths and complementary experience so that, together, we will have greater industry impact for our members,” said Kerry Lamson, ONCE CEO, who will become General Manager of the newly combined member programs. “As a unified organization, we expect to increase our value to existing members and attract new members with even greater reach and stronger programs.”

Founded in 1994, Palo Alto, Calif.-based CommerceNet has more than thirty member companies and provides a forum where cross industry groups can work together. Core partners include the likes of OASIS, webMethods, Commerce One, Deutsche Telecom, SAP AG, and the W3Net.

“W3Net became involved in ONCE because it is the best forum to exchange ideas and network with leading practitioners worldwide about the development of best practices in e-commerce,” said company president and CEO Thomas Westbrook. “The fact that ONCE and CommerceNet are becoming one adds more weight to an already influential organization.”

Mountain View, Calif.-based ONCE is an alliance of electronic trading networks whose membership roster includes top-tier businesses, government, academia, and standards organizations.

The two groups have previously collaborated on a handful of projects, including the development of a low cost catalog management software for small and medium-sized businesses, Web services research and joint education and conference events.

The new consortium is expected to outline more details at a ONCE conference in Paris next month.

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