Helping agencies set up shop
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- May 23, 2000
Federal agencies looking for a way to set up an easy-to-use and affordable
electronic marketplace have a new option, thanks to an agreement made last
week between IBM Corp. and Data Junction Corp.
Data Junction will incorporate its content aggregation and data integration
tool to work with IBM's WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition — an end-to-end solution for quickly developing e-marketplaces and connecting
buyers and suppliers. The combined services can accommodate more than 60
applications and data formats.
"The challenge for IBM's customers has been that their e-marketplaces
were not prefilled with data," said Bret Starr, marketing director for Data
Junction. "Government agencies are notorious for having large legacy data
stores, and the real value here for them is the availability of a rapid,
out-of-the-box solution for putting data from an organization into a compatible
format for e-business."
Starr said about 5 percent of Data Junction's 110,000 users are from
the federal government, including the departments of Defense, Labor and
Energy, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade
Commission, the Customs Service and the U.S. Postal Service.
"The federal government does business with a lot of nongovernment entities,
and the private sector is building e-marketplaces that the federal government
is going to want to participate in," Starr said.
IBM's WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition includes the ability
to conduct auctions and reverse auctions, secure membership registration
and provide seamless communication between buyers and sellers. The company
also announced last week that the product now enables users to create online
marketplaces that interact with handheld devices.
Data Junction's solutions cost about $5,000, compared with services
costing tens of thousands or even millions of dollars from the company's
competitors, Starr said.