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Baan software aims to ease purchasing over the Net

The business software firm unveils new Web-based procurement software, marking its official entry into the growing market of software that allows companies to communicate with suppliers over the Internet.

Business software firm Baan today unveiled new Web-based procurement software, marking its official entry into the growing market of software that allows companies to communicate with suppliers over the Internet.

The market for procurement software is one that has attracted the attention of traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) software makers. Baan rivals Oracle and SAP have already entered the market with products of their own, treading turf formerly held solely by Ariba and CommerceOne.

The worldwide market for software that allows companies to buy goods and services from their suppliers online is expected to grow from $147 million last year to $5.3 billion by 2003, according to market research firm International Data Corporation.

Baan said its new E-Procurement product is an Intranet-based self-service software that works with BaanERP, or back-office system, which automates a company's shipping, manufacturing, and other operations.

The new software, first introduced in April as part of Baan's e-commerce application suite called E-Enterprise, enables businesses to delegate routine purchases within the company.

According to the company, the E-Procurement software can be easily installed alongside a firm's existing IT system, as it is based on Microsoft's distributed internetwork applications (DNA) architecture, which helps build and link information systems based on Microsoft operating systems and products.

Baan E-Procurement is a standalone application within its E-Enterprise suite and will be generally available in December, the company said.