SynQuest Teams With InterWorld for Internet Sales and Fulfillment

  • Written By: Steve McVey
  • Published: May 5 2000

SynQuest Teams With InterWorld for Internet Sales and Fulfillment
S. McVey - May 5, 2000

Event Summary

SynQuest, Inc. will team with e-commerce software solution provider, InterWorld Corporation in a strategic marketing and technology alliance designed to bring sales and fulfillment applications to joint customers. The exact form of the alliance is unclear, but SynQuest and InterWorld plans to sell jointly to native Internet businesses and brick and mortar companies who are expanding to the Web.

Potential for the new alliance is great given the proliferation of online storefronts and the fulfillment challenges advanced planning capabilities can address. InterWorld brings sell-side capabilities for online product merchandising, order processing, and customer self-service via its Commerce Exchange solution. SynQuest's supply chain management applications, which have been recast as "e-business engines," enable manufacturers with distribution networks to plan, source, and ship goods for optimum order fulfillment.

Market Impact

Alliances like the SynQuest-InterWorld deal are becoming more and more prevalent, but few will ever provide promised value for clients. A similar B2B partnership was signed recently by Adexa, a direct competitor of SynQuest, and Commerce One. Adexa and SynQuest are both small supply chain management companies of the order of $40 million in total revenues and are eager to investigate new avenues for growth.

The prospect of being the "e-business engine" of choice for e-commerce software vendors can have bottom-line benefits for SynQuest and Adexa and improve their valuation in future IPO pricings. The greatest potential market impact these and other such alliances have is hastening consolidation among e-commerce software companies and e-fulfillment companies.

Though some acquisitions have occurred in this area, alliances predominate mainly because these vendors lack the technical domain expertise required to evaluate the viability of potential acquisitions and can ill-afford to make a mistake. .

User Recommendations

Users should ask the following questions when evaluating the SynQuest-InterWorld combined offering:

  • Are any price advantages offered to clients who elect to purchase both SynQuest and InterWorld products?

  • What technology, if any, is used to integrate the two applications? Does either vendor offer services for integrating the products or is this left to third party integration firms or the client?

  • Do the applications share a common server platform and GUI?

  • What assurances can the vendors give that installed products will be supported if the alliance falls apart in the future or one or another of the partners is acquired by a competing vendor?

These questions coupled with a thorough selection process can prevent users from choosing the wrong software vendor for their needs and squandering dearly bought IT budgets.

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