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AMERICAN EXPRESS Selects TRADEX To Build New Business to Business Commerce Network

Written By: A. Turner
Published On: December 8 1999

Event Summary

TRADEX Technologies, the provider of a digital marketplace platform, and American Express, the largest corporate card provider, announced that they have partnered to create the "B2B Commerce Network", a new component-based e-commerce solution powered by TRADEX's Commerce Center platform.

The American Express B2B Commerce Network is an open digital marketplace for purchasing and catalog management that is designed to connect American Express' corporate customers and suppliers with other horizontal and vertical marketplaces on the Internet. The B2B Commerce Network will enable companies to enhance the benefits of their existing procurement applications with online payment tools, supplier services, content management services and advanced sourcing capabilities.

American Express selected the TRADEX platform as the foundation of its B2B Commerce Network. TRADEX enables the customization of the B2B Commerce Network to reflect each buying organization's purchasing policies and negotiated prices, and provides flexible commerce transaction processes from requisition through payment. American Express' B2B Commerce Network also will provide customizable catalogs and content aggregation tools through ec-Content, Inc. a TRADEX partner.

In addition to hosting an online corporate travel booking solution, American Express is working with ten electronic purchasing systems vendors to provide full interoperability with the Corporate Purchasing Card to streamline payment, reconciliation and reporting processes. Additionally, American Express has begun testing American Express @ Work, a business-to-business portal that integrates web-based applications and content with full-service support to help companies and their employees streamline activities across the full spectrum of travel and purchasing management.

Market Impact

This announcement introduces American Express as a significant contributor to the business to business market. American Express is the leading provider of commercial purchasing cards and expense management solutions in the U.S. The B2B Commerce Network is a further step to extend their Internet product development initiatives to corporate customers.

According to Brigette Baumann, general manager at American Express corporate services' interactive division, "A major focus is to bring our network of business to business suppliers into the online marketplace in a fraction of the time [of other offerings] and offer advanced payment mechanisms."

User Recommendations

This is positive news for organizations planning to engage in electronic business to business commerce. With American Express's established relationships and expertise in travel & payment services, this represents a significant addition to the business to business landscape. Existing B2B solution providers, such as Ariba, Commerce One and Concur (See TEC News Analysis Articles: "Commerce One Meets GM: Web Now Has A Really Big Parts Department" November 10th, 1999 and "Ariba Successes Highlights Standards Wars" August 13th, 1999) have been diligently creating networks of partners and market places. American Express will challenge them in the areas of payment services, time to market, content and full service support.

If you are considering entry to the Business to Business market place, evaluate your options. Those organizations that already have an existing relationship with American Express should immediately investigate this opportunity. Otherwise continue to watch the relationships between these commerce networks.

We expect organizations like American Express, Ariba, CommerceOne, and Concur to focus on areas such as procurement, T&E and self service HR models. Look for strategic partnerships to bolster their offerings in areas where they may not be as strong (IE: back office integration, or content management).

Inevitably, as the digital market places grow, suppliers will participate in multiple markets and consumers will expect access. This will force these vendors to add feature and support rich services to their mix of offerings.

 
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