Online Buying Tide Grows

AlliedSignal Inc. is the latest large company to take the plunge into Web-based purchasing of nonproduction supplies. Procurement vendor CommerceOne Inc., meanwhile, is trying to turn this growing trend into a global proposition.

Concur Technologies will disclose this week that AlliedSignal will use its CompanyStore application to purchase IT products over the Web. Concur also will roll out CompanyStore 5.0, which offers revamped user interfaces and links to Oracle databases and Oracle and PeopleSoft enterprise resource planning apps. "That [integration] was definitely a consideration," says AlliedSignal purchasing manager John Dording. "We're not sure how much we want to integrate, but we use Oracle databases and a mix of ERP systems." AlliedSignal is the 12th of the 100 largest U.S. companies to unveil an online procurement initiative.

CommerceOne will announce this week that British Telecom in the United Kingdom and NTT in Japan are using CommerceOne software to host procurement marketplace sites. Those sites will link to CommerceOne's marketplace, letting companies in the United States buy online from suppliers in Europe and Asia. BT Marketplace is already in operation; NTT's site is slated to launch by summer. "Customers like ours trade on an international basis already," says CommerceOne president and CEO Mark Hoffman. "We can make that more frictionless--you can plug in once and have access to multiple countries."

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