IBM, MarketMile Team Up, Extend LPS

IBM also expands WebSphere Business Partner initiative.

IBM is making further inroads into business-to-business online transaction processing through a partnership with MarketMile LLC and an expanded WebSphere Business Partner initiative.

The IBM and MarketMile partnership, announced last week, will enable customers to quickly reap the benefits of e-procurement by tracking and managing indirect spending, IBM officials said.

As part of the agreement, MarketMile, an e-procurement service provider founded by American Express Co., will provide expanded application options, supplier enablement and functionality for IBMs Leveraged Procurement Service, or LPS.

LPS is part of IBMs e-business on-demand package that combines sourcing software with sourcing expertise from IBM Global Services to help companies conduct B2B transactions over the Internet.

Other IBM on-demand services include e-procurement, remote network management, managed storage, managed hosting and document exchange.

The partnership with MarketMile, of Mountain View, Calif., will extend LPS to include MarketMiles hosted e-procurement application and its supplier network. Such MarketMile services as catalog management, supplier enablement and adoption management are also included.

With the new offering, customers will have access to a number of suppliers, including those pre-selected by IBM and MarketMiles network of more than 60 suppliers.

The suppliers cover about 95 percent of the standard products in indirect spending categories such as office products, hardware and software, and certain categories of maintenance, repair and operations materials, according to IBM officials in Armonk, N.Y.

MarketMiles catalog management service allows suppliers to customize pricing to reflect existing contracts, company officials said.

Separately, IBM announced at its PartnerWorld conference in San Francisco last week an expanded WebSphere Business Partner initiative to help companies better integrate applications and business processes across the enterprise. To foster that, IBM launched an online, real-time training e-lab for programmers, as well as new commerce-based programs to help business partners drive new revenue.

The new WebServices on WebSphere initiative will act as a community for sharing technology and business strategies to develop and deploy Web services built on Java 2 Enterprise Edition, officials said.