AMS and Ariba forge business-to-government e-commerce pact

AND DAN CATERINICCHIA (danc@fcw.com)

Financial management firm American Management Systems Inc. and Internet electronic commerce vendor Ariba Inc. have teamed up to provide federal government users with products and services that will help them buy products online.

The companies will integrate Ariba's electronic commerce application with AMS' financial and procurement systems to give AMS' federal users a way to take advantage of Internet-based buying. AMS also will market and resell Ariba services and software.

AMS recognizes that agencies are moving quickly toward using e-commerce, said Gregg Mossburg, senior principal with AMS' procurement solutions group. "We have Web-based applications, but if you're familiar with the business-to-business market and how rapidly that is evolving, the ability to partner with Ariba, who is leading the charge in that market, is an advantage to AMS from a product perspective," Mossburg said. "This allows us to offer our customers new capabilityeto help them move to the Internet."

Mike Dow, vice president of AMS' defense practice group, said the agreement with Ariba will play a role in helping DOD achieve a paperless contracting process. AMS is developing DOD's Standard Procurement System, which is designed to automate the complicated process that defense procurement shops use to buy supplies. AMS won the SPS contract in 1997 and based the system's development on a version of its commercial Procurement Desktop software that was modified to serve the DOD contracting community.

"The Ariba product becomes one of several products [we will] build as best of breed for the entire DOD," Dow said. "There are many pieces of the puzzle. DOD has that [paperless contracting] vision. This is a piece of that vision."

The deal represents Ariba's first foray into the federal market, said Paul Melchiorre, vice president of operations for the Americas region at Ariba. "A lot of what applies to business-to-business e-commerce is very much applicable to business-to-government [e-commerce]," he said. "The configuration at Ariba was built from the ground up and gives us flexibility and the capability of customizing."

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