eConnections Expands Web With IPNet
eConnections, one of a new breed of Supply Chain Management vendors, has
added IPNet Solutions Inc. to its list of preferred solutions for supply-chain
connectivity. IPNet (see Secure
Transport of EDI and XML for Trading Exchanges) makes eBizness Suite
3.1 for enabling virtual trading communities and trade exchanges and will
allow eConnections to expand its range of integration platforms. With
the help of IPNet, eConnections plans to build a network that will allow
its customers in the electronics industry to collaborate on product specifications
and other business and design considerations, participate in transactions,
view bills-of-material and inventory, and route documents such as purchase
orders and invoices using industry standard protocols.
the online exchanges that have recently been announced in the electronics
industry, eConnections is really an intelligent e-hub of critical business-to-business
activity - providing sophisticated business technology and added value
beyond a simple forum for buying and selling components," said Don Willis,
founder and CEO of IPNet Solutions Inc. "This agreement with eConnections
presents IPNet with a unique, viral marketing opportunity that will enable
us to leverage our solution across an entire industry - collapsing the
channel for the benefit of suppliers and customers alike."
Even by Internet standards, eConnections is barely more than an embryo.
CEO Rob Rodin launched eConnections in April 2000 with the help of several
of his former colleagues at Marshall Industries. Rodin is credited with
transforming Marshall, an old guard brick-and-mortar distribution company,
into a model B2B web site and is the author of Free, Perfect, and Now:
Connecting to the Three Insatiable Demands ,
which chronicles his efforts.
envisions a not-so-distant future where companies survive only as part
of a network of trading partners, supplanting traditional enterprise boundaries
with a web of companies focused on common goals. To be sure, eConnections
is not for timid companies or those that lack a progressive approach to
business. Just about every purveyor of online marketplaces insists that
its solutions do more than merely support buying and selling; eConnections
is one of the few that can make this claim without shading the truth.
eConnections, however, is still a small fish in a rather large pond brimming
with sharks. It faces competition from established SCM vendors like i2
and Manugistics, as well as from ERP vendors like SAP and Oracle, all
of which are focusing attention on the extended enterprise and retrofitting
strong core applications for web deployment. In spite of the threat, eConnections
stands an excellent chance of growing market share with the heightening
demand for Internet collaboration capabilities.
Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Users who have solved their internal supply chain efficiency problems
and who are ready to begin life as a node in an inter-enterprise network
should consider eConnections a prime candidate. For those companies who
are looking to acquire technology solutions for key functional areas such
as demand planning, supply/procurement planning, transportation planning,
etc. should consider a vendor that offers deep, flexible applications
such as i2 Technologies, Manugistics Group, or Logility and leave eConnections
for a future stage of evolution. Above all, choose a vendor whose strategic
direction aligns with your future needs.