Hyundai Finds A New Niche To Play In: Exchanges - InformationWeek

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Hyundai Finds A New Niche To Play In: Exchanges

If it's possible for a corporation to have attention-deficit disorder, Korean industrial giant Hyundai has it. The hyper-diversified conglomerate is now interested in B-to-B exchanges.

Hyundai has hooked up with portal-software maker Viador Inc. to create exchanges for the shipbuilding, chemical, and health-care industries in Korea. It also will use Viador software to integrate applications within and across Hyundai's many companies.

Viador says the Hyundai deal, which includes purchase and reseller agreements, is potentially its largest. Although the value of the deal was not disclosed, it gives Viador a significant edge in Asia as portal software vendors seek to expand beyond the U.S., says Delphi Group analyst Hadley Reynolds. "These kind of deals with Far East trading companies will serve as a beachhead for the major (portal) players," he says. The planned shipbuilding exchange, for example, will link Hyundai's own shipbuilding company, as well as others in Japan, the U.S., and Norway, with suppliers of steel and other components worldwide.

Initially, Hyundai will use Viador's portal framework software to develop a single interface to the many applications that Hyundai employees must access in order to obtain approval for everything from office-equipment purchases, to hiring, to project schedules. Hyundai will use the portal in its electronics, construction, heavy-industry, trading, and retailing companies, according to Yoonsoon Im, E-business team leader within Hyundai Information Technology, the conglomerate's IT operation.

"We think the portal framework is a very important tool to integrate all the online businesses within a large company like Hyundai, Im says. Later, Hyundai plans to use the Viador software to integrate ERP and CRM applications throughout its empire.

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