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Commerce One and Adexa Build Castles in the Air

Written By: Steve McVey
Published On: March 29 2000

Commerce One and Adexa Build Castles in the Air
S. McVey - March 29th, 2000

Event Summary

Everyone acknowledges that Internet-based procurement is of limited value without fulfillment capabilities to support it. Such foundation is important if analyst projections of $1.3 trillion for the B2B market by 2003 are to come true. In response, many B2B software vendors are pairing up to work out the details of the integration. A recent alliance between e-commerce powerhouse Commerce One and SCM-turned-B2B collaboration vendor Adexa (formerly Paragon Management Systems) takes aim at combining Commerce One's MarketSite e-procurement portals with Adexa's iCollaboration fulfillment applications.

The two companies plan to link MarketSite's buyers and suppliers with order procurement and fulfillment synchronization capabilities through the use of dynamic business-to-business collaboration tools. Adexa's iCollaboration suite will provide applications for accurate order promising, intelligent order allocation, demand visibility, and collaboration capabilities. Such features can allow MarketSite suppliers to respond more quickly to changing demand, an all too certain consequence of Internet-based buying.

Market Impact

The problem with many of these alliances is the lack of a strong incentive that keeps the partners together through difficult times. In order to produce tangible results for consumers, these alliances must be reinforced against the negative forces of competition between partners, other priorities that draw attention and resources, and apathy that undermines the vast majority of partnerships.

Adexa already offers B2B portal technology through its iCollaboration suite, which provides many of the same features available through Commerce One's MarketSite. Of course, the potential overlap is mitigated somewhat by the possibility that Adexa has worked out some of the integration issues between its portals and its supply chain planning applications, experience that will be helpful as it and Commerce One get down to business.

One incentive for Commerce One and Adexa to make good on their alliance is the proliferation of competitive alliances, the largest threat being the recently announced "megalliance" of IBM, Ariba, and i2. Internally, Adexa and Commerce One have built other incentives that should facilitate their proposed integration. Adexa will be the exclusive planning and collaboration engine for Commerce One's MarketSite solutions. The two partners have already organized joint integration and long-term development teams to perform the integration between iCollaboration and MarketSite.

On the technology side, Adexa's solutions use a common open architecture called the Single Data Model (SDM) that is shared by every module of iCollaboration. SDM can reduce integration times, costs, and complexity because only one point of integration is required. Theoretically, once MarketSite is integrated to SDM, the iCollaboration modules are able to use its data for planning purposes. With competition chasing behind and an integration plan leading them forward, Adexa and Commerce One are likely to make a serious effort to integrate their solutions and deliver a product within the next twelve months.

User Recommendations

In spite of the elements in their favor, Adexa and Commerce One have a large task to accomplish before they can produce a tangible product. Users should view the proposed alliance with a protective level of skepticism, as they should all such unions of market portals and supply chain optimization due to their novelty.

 

 
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