Deloitte, the consulting arm of accounting giant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, said it has also acquired an equity stake in San Francisco-based Epylon through its ventures unit. Epylon provides a Web-based procurement system tailored for the public sector. The amount of the stake was not disclosed.
As part of the agreement, New York-based Deloitte will help integrate and install Epylon's procurement software into schools' existing purchasing and financial systems, hoping to reduce administrative costs tied into the buying and selling of supplies. The two companies are also aiming to improve the existing purchasing process between schools, the different school districts and their suppliers.
While most corporations have already shifted to Web-based computer systems, the public sector, such as schools and government institutions, is for the most part making the transition slowly.
A number of software makers and consulting firms have recently inked deals to serve the public sector as the market continues to emerge from its infancy. Last month, e-commerce software maker Ariba also formed an alliance with Epylon to target the public sector. Both companies intend to work with Deloitte rival Andersen Consulting to develop procurement software and services designed for schools and government facilities.
Under today's agreement, Deloitte and Epylon said they will collaborate on business development, marketing, product development, technical integration and training. In addition to serving the education market, the companies will jointly serve other public-sector markets.