Count the Ways

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2001-11-05 Print this article Print

Count the Ways

Theres no shortage of options for e-procurement buyers looking to outsource catalog management. Service vendors, including Requisite, TPN Register and ICG, typically work on a contract basis, and their charges vary depending on the number of supplier catalogs buyers want to work with.

Buyers can also choose to implement catalog management software from vendors such as Poet Software Corp., of San Mateo, Calif.; Cardonet Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif.; Liaison Technology Inc., of Austin, Texas; and Vinimaya Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y. One software vendor, Trigo Technologies Inc., of Brisbane, Calif., focuses exclusively on software that allows suppliers to more easily publish their catalogs to the multiple formats used by e-procurement applications.

Not every enterprise moving to e-procurement will need to tap into such content management products and services, however. In some industries, happily for buyers, a critical mass of key suppliers has already gathered around one of the supplier networks of e-procurement vendors such as Ariba or Commerce One. Through these networks, suppliers already can upload catalogs and accept electronic orders, said Andrew Bartels, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc., in Cambridge, Mass. In the railroad industry, for example, a large number of suppliers are supporting Clarus Corp.s e-procurement system, Bartels said. It may make sense for buyers in such industries simply to embrace the dominant e-procurement software platform and network.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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