In a move to boost its credibility in the market, Ariba will announce Monday that it will integrate its e-commerce software with PeopleSoft?s enterprise applications.
Networking giant Cisco Systems will be the first customer to deploy the integrated software for making routine purchases of office supplies and equipment.
The pact will let Ariba integrate its purchasing software for business-to-business sales with PeopleSoft?s human resources software and its manufacturing and distribution application suites. The integration will be demonstrated November 4 at an Ariba event.
For PeopleSoft, the alliance is part of its strategy to link core business functions with Internet technologies. PeopleSoft markets enterprise software for finance, materials management, distribution, supply chain planning, manufacturing, and human resources.
For Ariba, integrating its software with PeopleSoft's aims to gain both credibility and new sales opportunities among PeopleSoft's 1,700 customers.
Ariba's software lets companies set up online catalogs of goods and services from authorized suppliers so individual departments and employees can order via a corporate intranet, without going through a purchasing department. Automating routine purchases is designed to save on labor costs, and channeling purchases to approved vendors aims to lower prices.
Consulting firm Giga Information Group estimates that U.S. corporations spend $250 billion per year processing purchase orders, invoices, statements, and other paper.
Ariba is not the only player in this emerging market to automate routine purchases. While Ariba sells its software, Commerce One, headed by former Sybase chairman Mark Hoffman, has a similar offering as a service, collecting a fee for each completed transaction.
In August, Commerce One announced partnerships with systems integrators MCI Systemshouse and Ernst & Young Technologies, among others. Commerce One also has deals to embed its software in purchasing applications from financial services software vendor Walker Interactive, Geac Computer Systems, and--just this week--Indus International.
The business-to-business procurement market is heating up. Others in the game include Open Market, Fisher Technology Group, Connect, and Actra, the Netscape Communications and GE Information Systems joint venture.
Earlier this week, CrossRoute Software announced its new e-commerce software that lets companies link to suppliers over the Net.
CrossRoute takes a somewhat different approach. Its Alliance software is targeted at supply chain management for critical materials and components. CrossRoute also works with enterprise software from PeopleSoft, SAP, Baan, and Oracle.