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Ariba, Ernst & Young Join Forces

Ariba Inc., a business-to-business E-commerce servicesprovider, and Ernst & Young LLP, a management-consulting firm, announced Monday an agreement to jointly offer E- commerce products.

Ernst & Young will become a Certified Ariba Systems Integrator partner and will gain access to Ariba's commerce services, an open global platform for business-to-business commerce on the Internet. Ernst & Young will provide its clients with access to Ariba's online marketplace where they can make purchases direct from preferred vendors at pre- negotiated volume prices.

Both companies say they will collaborate to provide E- commerce software, network services and systems integration services. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Jack Staff, chief Internet economist with Zona Research, says the deal allows Ariba to hook up with a major integrator, giving it access to clients.

Forrester Research predicts that business trading on the Internet will grow to $1.3 trillion in 2003.

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