Corporation (Nasdaq: DELL) has chosen privately held webMethods to supply the
missing link in its e-Commerce technology. At present, a corporate buyer using
Dell's website must re-enter all details of the transaction into the corporate
financial systems. With the adoption of webMethods B2B XML-based middleware,
it will be possible for Dell to transmit order and tracking information electronically.
For Dell this represents a major step in the fulfillment of its "B2B Direct"
will be available to to Dell's largest customers, who will install a version
of Dell's own B2B Direct that has been integrated with webMethods B2B. This
will allow Dell to exchange data with legacy, ERP and Web-based purchasing systems.
feature sets among competing manufacturers are comparable (See TEC News Analysis
Article: "Dell Passes Compaq
for U.S. PC Lead, or 'Houston, You Have Problem'", October 27th, 1999),
client savings of time and money, estimated at $85-95 per purchase order, will
create strong pressure to point corporate purchasing to Dell. This would not
be strong enough to overcome strong price differentials, but Dell is already
an extremely strong price competitor. . While larger corporations do not generally
change their buying habits overnight, there are always some in the phase of
re-evaluating their supplier relationships. Hence, this announcement will both
bring new customers to Dell and cement its relationship with existing customers.
makes some ripples in the wider E-procurement space, by giving companies a way
to deal directly with Dell rather than going through a purchasing marketplace.
However, given the need for special software at the customer site and the fact
that webMethods B2B promises to integrate with the major E-procurement software
vendors, we don't predict any trend that E-procurement companies need worry
If Dell products
are among those you'd be willing to buy for features and cost, you will be waiting
anxiously for a demonstration of how well B2B truly integrates with your purchasing
software. Moving the purchasing of computers, supplies, accessories and software
into the corporate purchasing system makes sense both financially and politically.