Express (NYSE: AXP) and Ariba (NASDAQ: ARBA will cooperate on the development
of advanced B2B E-payment services to be deployed over the Ariba Network.
The first such service, expected in 60 to 90 days, will support payment
upon shipment, with charges to Amex-issues purchase cards. Future services
will include most of Amex' financial offerings, from trade financing to
two companies will offer enhanced support services to joint customers,
facilitating joint development efforts, and will recommend joint solutions
to their individual prospects. Ariba's Network and Amex' own Internet-based
B2B financial services network, still in a pilot stage, will interoperate
fully and openly.
Amex will use Ariba's software solutions on a worldwide basis for "most
of its annual procurement spending."
most immediate impact is that Amex will be leading its 50,000 business
customers right up to membership in the Ariba Network; although they will
not have to join, the benefits and easy entre will be powerful inducements
- and powerful increments to Ariba's bottom line.
credit card companies will see threat in this announcement, Amex stated
that they intend to create relationships with Visa and MasterCard in the
future, as well as to deploy their payment solutions on other (unnamed)
networks. We expect that executives from Concur will begin flying to Amex
headquarters real soon now, even though such additional deployments are
far in the future, because of the instant legitimacy partnering with Amex
would add. Note that Commerce One recently entered a similar pact with
Users should care, but not take any precipitous actions.
fact that Ariba and Commerce One now have similar arrangements with financial
services firms reinforces our impression that there will be few long-term
feature differentiators in the E-commerce world.
your selections of software and services based on thorough analysis of
features, costs, and corporate viability - and there's certainly not much
difference on the latter point between Ariba and Commerce One. Most companies
will not be dealing directly with either of these companies in any case,
but with ASP's or with providers of other software, such as corporate
portals, that may serve as onramps to these giant marketplaces. So the
small difference in marketplace features will be more than overshadowed
by the larger differences you will find in matches to your other requirements.