March 8, 2000, in an attempt to save U.S. schools $10 billion by 2005,
Simplexis.com has launched an online B2B marketplace for school purchasing.
The pilot program commenced March 1 in the Glendale (California) Unified
than 100 school districts that spend an estimated $3 billion annually
for goods and services have lined up to use Simplexis.com. Over the next
several weeks, more than a dozen public school districts with annual purchases
totaling roughly $400 million will join in the pilot program. Completely
free to schools, the Simplexis.com system may save participants an estimated
10-15 percent of their procurement budget while providing news, content,
and community for all involved in the business of education.
by former U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander and four Harvard
business school graduates, Simplexis.com offers a hosted e-commerce solution
for core applications.
to an alliance with application service provider Corio, Inc., Simplexis.com
deployed a customized version of Commerce One's BuySite in 40 days. Simplexis.com
chose to outsource all installation, setup, and maintenance of Commerce
One's hosted BuySite e-procurement application 6.0 to Corio.
solution allows Simplexis.com to give customers a custom e-procurement
solution without any installation on customer premises. In addition, Simplexis.com
offers related content, news, and services; providing school business
officials a "one stop solution" for the business of education.
Business to Business commerce estimated to hit the "trillion" mark by
2003, it's easy to see why companies are offering solutions. With private
efforts like Staples, Office Depot, and Office Max; Government purchasing
initiatives; and the creation of exchanges by Ariba, CommerceOne, Chemdex
(to name a few); it is only logical the education marketplace benefit
Simplexis.com's blend of Commerce One's solution with Corio makes for
an attractive offering. By keeping the threshold of entry low (free??),
Mr. Alexandar's group stands to attract considerable attention. If the
pilot is successful, look for similar offerings to appear almost overnight
For schools wishing to streamline and improve purchasing, there is little,
or nothing, to lose by exploring Simplexis.com's offer. Should it prove
effective, these educational institutions may find hidden benefits. We
suggest schools use their participation as a teaching model for students.
Concepts of digital transactions, the economics of mass purchase power,
digital exchanges, and Internet commerce are only a few of the valuable
topics the solution offers.
a point worth investigating is Simplexis.com's business model. If the
company is offering free access to the tools for commerce, how do they
make money? Will users pay a little extra each time an item is purchased,
or will they be inundated with advertisements? Or both? We recommend understanding
Simplexis.com's revenue model before signing any contract.