Deals to Smooth B2B Wrinkles

Partnerships to ease system connectivity.

Epicor Software Corp. and Inovis Inc. have both sought out partners to enhance the way enterprises connect their IT systems with those of their trading partners and customers.

Business-to-business collaboration software maker Epicor last week announced a partnership with eB2B Commerce Inc. that looks to make it easier for trading partners to connect electronically.

eB2B, which develops transaction management software, will offer manufacturers that use Epicors Vista and Vantage offerings a collaborative service for communicating with customers and suppliers. The Business Connect EDI hosted service will fully automate the exchange of trading documents via electronic data interchange or XML through built-in integration with Vista or Vantage.

Epicor, of Irvine, Calif., and New York-based eB2B will also offer an option that provides a portal for sending and receiving transactions.

Randy Lyles, director of MIS for Tennessee Mat Company Inc., uses Epicors Vantage and eB2B software. With Tennessee Mat manually keying in EDI data, Lyles was looking for a better way to handle EDI. The Epicor-eB2B partnership makes it easier for Lyles to work. "They [eB2B] are understanding the Vantage product, and the mappings and all the translation engines and table layouts of the Vantage product, so ... they can now play the middleman," said Lyles, in Nashville, Tenn. "It works out well for me."

The Epicor-eB2B partnership followed the announcement late last month that Inovis acquired IPNet Solutions Inc. Terms of the deal were not announced.

IPNet, of Newport Beach, Calif., brings flexible supply chain connectivity to Inovis, which provides business automation software and services. The acquisition puts Atlanta-based Inovis in line to provide a fuller range of software and services for supplier and partner e-commerce connection and interaction, officials said.

With the addition of IPNet, Inovis will expand its portfolio to include software, managed services, a value-added network, professional services and a means for Internet transactions. IPNets technology helps companies migrate from legacy systems to the Internet and is AS1, AS2, ebXML (electronic business XML) and Uniform Council Code certified.