Accenture LLC is teaming up with SAPMarkets Inc. to build private online exchanges for business-to-business e-commerce.
The two companies earlier this month promised to provide a package of software and services that integrates a companys existing enterprise resource planning systems with the MarketSet e-commerce platform created by SAPMarkets and Commerce One Inc.
The goals of such a system would be to reduce order-to-delivery times, lessen the cost of inventory, and cut the time needed to develop and deliver new products to market, according to Lance Grether, associate partner for enterprise solutions at Accenture, in New York.
Like many other technology ventures, the alliance between Accenture and SAPMarkets, of Palo Alto, Calif., is aimed not at the large public e-marketplaces that were in fashion last year but at private e-marketplaces that support collaboration in design and manufacturing between one company and its suppliers.
"This is information that companies already pass between them in different forms," Grether said. "We are trying to streamline a process that already exists."
One way the combined companies offerings will streamline the process is by taking existing data feeds that are transmitted via EDI (electronic data interchange); passing the feeds through MarketSet, where they can be made more easily available; and then returning response data back to the supplier in an EDI format, Grether said.
The alliance plans to open two demonstration centers—one in North America and one in Europe—to show off the two companies ability to integrate systems made by SAPMarkets parent company, SAP AG, as well as those developed by other companies.