E-procurement hub serves gov buyers

PartnershipAmerica.com was launched today as a new online marketplace connecting

government IT buyers on the federal, state and local levels with solutions

providers in the private sector.

The site, developed by Ingram Micro Inc., employs a request for quote

(RFQ) and price comparison system similar to those found in traditional

business-to-business e-procurement applications, said Pam Smith, vice president

of channel development at the Santa Ana, Calif.-based company.

"Resellers needed an e-commerce tool to connect with their existing

customer base and to compete with the branded sites," Smith said. "We built

an online e-procurement hub to find technology solutions providers that

fit the specific needs of the public sector. It gives [resellers] lower

operating costs, greater efficiency in their business and better online

interaction."

What makes the site different from other e-procurement portals is that

government users can browse through resellers' catalogs until they find

the right products at the right price, Smith said. "There's no direct competition,

not with all the different resellers together. With other portals, you can't

compare across other catalogs unless you use a search engine."

The new site is targeted at any federal, state and local government

body, as well as all levels of educational institutions, said Jason Kosewick,

director of government business development at Ingram Micro.

Among the resellers already signed on to participate are Government

Micro Resources, Sawtooth Technologies and Western Blue Corp.

Smith said Ingram Micro demonstrated the new tool at some recent trade

shows, including E-Gov in Washington, D.C., and said the government and

education users showed a "great response" to the features.

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