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Ariba, portal team on aerospace B2B marketplace

The business e-commerce software maker announces a new marketplace run on its software and delivered by aerospace and aviation business-to-business portal Partsbase.com.

There's a new marketplace in the $187 billion aerospace and aviation parts industry.

Business e-commerce software maker Ariba today announced a new marketplace run on its software and delivered by aerospace and aviation business-to-business portal Partsbase.com. It is the first marketplace in this industry to run on Ariba software, according to analysts.

The new business-to-business services include online ordering; real-time transactions on new, used and overhauled aviation parts; and Web auctions, the company said. Partsbase.com provides basic Internet services for aviation companies. Today's announcement marks its first push into e-business.

The move helps Ariba stake a claim in the industry, which up to now has been filled with plans to launch marketplaces but with few actual live transactions taking place.

Giga Information Group analyst Tom Harwick said the marketplace push in the aerospace and aviation industries must serve the unique business needs of the industry.

"For instance, the aerospace industry has the service parts supply chain. i2 and Honeywell's MyAircraft.com serves this supply chain. Partsbase.com is much broader in scope. It has incredible range and uses the auction model, which is good for some things but not all things."

Harwick said what is really needed by the aerospace and aviation industry in a business-to-business marketplace is more collaboration, or relationship management, services for suppliers and manufacturers. "You don't see enough of that yet. But sites that do this for the aerospace and aviation industries will really be the next big thing."

Along with these industries, the defense industry is also a target of the new marketplace. The business-to-business site serves more than 13,000 customers worldwide, including industry heavyweights Boeing, Honeywell, Federal Express, Pratt & Whitney, Northrop Gruman Aviation and United Parcel Service, the company said in a statement.

The marketplace is the latest in a slew of business-to-business moves made in the industry in just a few months. Just this week, industry giants Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and British Aerospace announced plans to launch a joint marketplace that will connect suppliers and buyers in the industry, allowing them to buy and sell parts and conduct business over the Internet. Business-to-business software provider Commerce One will help build and design the marketplace.

Last month, United Technologies, Honeywell and i2 Technologies said they intend to launch MyAircraft.com, an electronic marketplace for aerospace products and services. Around the same time, a public version of the AviationX marketplace, which includes message boards and user groups, should be available by the end of year.

Business-to-business marketplaces also are sprouting up in such fields as chemicals, automobile manufacturing, construction and pharmaceuticals.