In an effort to simplify online collaboration and procurement, plastics e-marketplace provider Omnexus Americas Inc. last week announced an alliance with Elemica Inc., an integrated trading hub founded by 22 of the worlds largest chemical companies.
Under the terms of the alliance, Atlanta-based Omnexus and Elemica will leverage the technology each has developed. Omnexus brings expertise in e-procurement technologies, while Elemica, of Wayne, Pa., offers ERP (enterprise resource planning) connectivity.
Elemicas Connected Solution product suite links members ERP systems through a single connection to the Elemica hub. The company also offers suites of logistics and supply chain software called Elemica Web Solutions and Elemica Supply Chain Solutions, respectively.
But despite what AMR Research Inc. analyst Louis Columbus sees as excellent ERP connectivity technology, Elemicas greater strength may be in the service it delivers.
"The people leading Elemica have been very, very clear that theirs is not a product company but more a utility company, like an electric company or a phone company," said Columbus, in Irvine, Calif. "They are trying to be the dial tone of the chemicals industry."
Omnexus brings to the table an e-procurement platform for buyer and supplier collaboration and transaction and a close relationship with supplier enablement software provider Ariba Inc.
For the alliance to be ultimately deemed successful in creating a revenue stream for each company, they will have to jointly develop products, according to Columbus.
"If [Omnexus and Elemica] were going to build a product together, theyd be hard pressed not to look at supplier enablement," he said. "Because of the strong ties Omnexus has with Ariba, I suspect their punch-in, punch-out technology would fit into" a jointly developed solution.
Officials from Omnexus said an integrated platform would ship late next quarter or early in the following one but added that a decision has not been made to jointly develop additional products.
According to Kent Dolby, president and CEO of Elemica, the companies that will benefit from the alliance are those that buy chemicals or plastics and are looking for a way to access suppliers through a single technology connection.
Sellers, for their part, are expected to benefit from the Omnexus eMarketplace connection because they wont have to deal with overlapping technology standards, according to Dolby.
Currently, more than 40 global suppliers are represented between the two companies. Omnexus suppliers include BASF AG, Bayer AG, Dow Chemical Co., DSM N.V. and DuPont.
Elemicas founding members include BASF, Bayer, DuPont, DSM and others.