Commerce One Accelerates Global Expansion Pace

Business to business e-commerce solutions provider Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC) announced yesterday that it has inked a deal with an Australian telecommunications company to establish a business-to-business marketplace portal for Australia and New Zealand.

The Walnut Creek, California-based company said the deal with Australia’s Cable & Wireless Optus will establish a trading portal on its Commerce One MarketSite platform, which is designed to allow buyers to cut costs, streamline the buying process and reduce purchasing cycle times by automatically handling purchase authorization, accounting and contractual procedures.

According to the company, the deal complements similar arrangements with British Telecom in the U.K., Nippon Telephone & Telegraph in Japan and Singapore Telecom in Singapore.

“Our leadership in electronic commerce, coupled with Cable & Wireless Optus’ brand strength, network infrastructure and market presence will enable us to deliver comprehensive solutions and provide superior levels of customer support and service,” said Commerce One CEO Mark Hoffman. “Australian and New Zealand businesses adopting the Commerce One solution can expect to achieve improved operational efficiency, reduced costs and greater buying power.”

B2B Boom

Most industry watchers agree that while the business-to-business enabler is overshadowed by business-to-consumer sites like eBay, the potential for the industry dwarfs its more public cousin. In fact, Forrester Research reports that the industry generates 10 times as much revenue now as eBay and the like and will soar to a $1.3 trillion (US$) market by 2004.

Companies like Commerce One focus upon businessprocurement — office supplies, IT supplies, travel and expense management, and other necessary operational resources. Unlike supply chain management, which is required primarily by manufacturing operations, every company relies upon business procurement.

Commerce One is fighting tooth-and-nail with Ariba and, to a lesser extent, Concur to establish market share. Both Ariba and Commerce One went public recently, and their market capitalization stands at a whopping $6.9 billion and $2.3 billion respectively. Ariba’s projected 2000 sales are $73 million, while Commerce One’s are pegged at $48 million.

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