IT-radar.com is trying to use the growing interest in online marketplaces to serve the IT services market. The company, which already operates regional online IT service marketplaces in four cities, today launched a fifth that aims to bring together the vast number of IT service providers in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
The marketplace, which will offer a broad range of IT services, breaks down into two divisions, staffing and solutions, offering companies the ability to search locally to find outsourcing services. In addition to a directory service, IT-radar plans to evaluate each potential service provider and offer filtering and matching processes.
The company hopes the localization of the marketplace will give it an edge over competitors such as IT Square.com, which operate nationally. CEO Don Peterson believes the local setting will benefit both buyers and providers. "Normally, clients go to the local offices of national or global firms or local firms for their outsourcing needs. Only for specialists will clients take the extra risks and costs involved to hire nonlocal companies," he says.
With the online marketplace for human resources and related services estimated to become a $22 billion market by 2004, Vernon Keenan, founder of E-commerce analyst firm Keenan Vision, believes this exchange has potential. "The localization is a factor in hiring," Keenan says. "In some areas it might be limiting, but not in markets such as the Bay Area."
Forty Bay Area and Silicon Valley firms have already signed up. Peterson likens the company's strategy to that of a mall developer. "We want to bring together a mix of all players, from major firms to boutiques, to allow the buyers to decide the right solution for their needs."
IT-radar.com has operated similar marketplaces in the Denver, Atlanta, New York, and Minneapolis metropolitan areas since November and has more than 400 firms from across the country participating.