Commerce One: First SAP, then Microsoft. But What About Clarus?

  • Written By: D. Geller
  • Published: October 5 2000

Commerce One: First SAP, then Microsoft. But What About Clarus?
D. Geller - October 5, 2000

Event Summary

Commerce One, which recently became SAP's partner in e-commerce (see SAP Gives Up, Declares Victory Again) has entered into a closer partnership with Microsoft. Commerce One's products are already NT-based, but the new partnership will allow Commerce One to develop infrastructure technologies optimized for the Microsoft .NET Platform. The two companies will also collaborate on XML strategies.

Commerce One stated that new revenues from this agreement should start to appear within the current quarter. These revenues will come primarily from expanded licensing possibilities, and the ensuing transaction revenues, that will come from "global marketing and sales initiatives" between the two companies.

In other words, Microsoft will be promoting and pushing Commerce One solutions across the world.

The stock market showed modest approval of the announcement, with Commerce One going up fifty-six cents. More interesting is that shares of another e-procurement vendor, Clarus dropped 18% on the news - or, to be accurate, Clarus shares dropped and some analysts attributed the drop to the news about Commerce One, reasoning that Clarus' own relationship with Microsoft would be weakened by the Commerce One deal.

Market Impact

TEC is concerned but somewhat skeptical about the relationship between the Commerce One deal and the Clarus drop. As Figure 1 shows, Clarus' stock problems do predate the Commerce One-Microsoft announcement. Analyst predictions that Clarus may have a disappointing quarter are surely a large component of the dip in price. On the other hand, Clarus itself notes that "A significant number of our new Clarus eProcurement sales and Clarus eMarket sales have occurred through referrals from Microsoft." So it would be hard to discount some effect on Clarus. Frankly, we don't see Clarus and Commerce One evolving toward the same customers, so Microsoft may continue to market for it - and if not Clarus should be able to recover.

Figure 1.


User Recommendations

Do not write Clarus off as a potential vendor. However, should it happen to suffer a few blows in the near future - that is, if it has a poor quarter and if Microsoft does terminate its marketing assistance - then we would be concerned about its future, and would recommend a close analysis before signing.

For potential customers of Commerce One, your other obvious choice is Ariba. We think this news is good for you because it will clarify the different directions of the two companies, and make it easier for you to find a best fit for your requirements.

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