Ariba and Descartes Link B2B Infrastructures

E-commerce business-to-business (B2B) platform provider Ariba and logistics software provider Descartes inked a deal on Tuesday that will connect buyers, suppliers and marketplaces on Ariba’s B2B Commerce Platform with transportation carriers and shippers in Descartes’ Global Logistics Network.

Both companies expect to gain new customers from the deal, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the third quarter. The service will allow buyers and suppliers to track the sale of goods and services from order placement online through delivery via a number of logistics and e-fulfillment services.

“This alliance is evidence of how quickly marketplace interoperability is being forged among the industry’s most dominant players,” said Lara Abrams, a senior analyst with the Aberdeen Group.

Inside the Deal

Ariba is expected to deliver a suite of new Web-hosted services — order status reporting, shipment cost calculation, delivery optimization, and Internet-based transportation management — that buyers, sellers, and B2B marketplaces can integrate into the transaction process.

For its part, Descartes will provide a vast e-fulfillment system. The current clients of the Waterloo, Ontario-based Descartes include online laundry service Purpletie.com, and online grocers YourGrocer.com and Webvan. Descartes’ system converges scheduling and customer relations management tools for companies that are reliant on home and business delivery.

According to the companies, buyers and suppliers will benefit from lowered shipping costs, increased transaction volumes and increased efficiency. The companies also say the new product will enable carriers and logistics service providers to operate more effectively.

After linking the Ariba commerce platform and services network with the Descartes system, the companies plan to develop additional e-commerce network services.

Another International Deal

In related news, Ariba announced another international partnership Tuesday with the Singapore-based Bex.com, a business-to-business Internet transaction infrastructure vendor. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for them “to link trading communities.”

When the agreement is finalized, Bex.com will host an Internet B2B e-commerce vertical portal, using Ariba technology, on its global transaction infrastructure.

The deal will allow Ariba customers access to additional distribution channels via Bex.com’s network of regional e-marketplaces in Greater China, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia, Thailand and the United States. In return, Bex.com customers — which include Xerox, Dell and NCR — will have access to Ariba’s network of manufacturers and suppliers.

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