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Ariba inks software deal to target public sector

The business-to-business software maker signs a deal with Epylon, a provider of hosted e-business software for educational and government institutions.

    Business-to-business software maker Ariba is setting its sights on the public sector.

    The Mountain View, Calif.-based company today signed a deal with Epylon, a provider of hosted e-business software for educational and government institutions. It also will work with technology services provider Andersen Consulting to develop procurement software and services designed for the public sector.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Epylon will license the Ariba B2B Commerce Platform software, which includes online exchange applications for buying and selling goods online.

    Financial details were not disclosed.

    "We have already witnessed the dramatic shift to Internet-based e-commerce in the private sector, but a similar movement in the public sector is still at infancy," said Ariba chief executive Keith Krach.

    Ariba, which makes software that lets companies buy and sell goods online, competes in the fast-growing market against rivals including Commerce One, Oracle, SAP and other software and professional services companies that have recently jumped into the business-to-business market.

    Ariba hopes the deal will propel it into the public sector, an area Commerce One has been targeting for a number of months.

    In January, Commerce One said it is forming a public-sector business unit to provide e-commerce products for federal, state and local governments and agencies, as well as for higher educational institutions. Commerce One appointed Bill Goodson to oversee the new unit, which will be based in McLean, Va.