Ariba, eFederal form B2G marketplace

Ariba Inc. and eFederal Systems Inc. have joined forces to create a centralized business-to-government online marketplace, the firms announced Monday.

The partnership offers a new option to government buyers and suppliers looking to streamline online procurement services.

Using the Ariba Marketplace solution, the eFederal marketplace will enable government buyers and vendors to interact and streamline their electronic commerce processes while also reducing costs, finding new trading partners and improving relationships with existing partners, said Jerry Connell, director of public sector for Ariba.

Government electronic procurement firm eFederal selected Ariba after an "exhaustive search" of business-to-business marketplace vendors, said Brad Allen, chief executive officer for eFederal — adding that Ariba's business model, which invites as many suppliers as possible into an arena, was a perfect fit with what eFederal wants to present to its federal customers. Via its digital marketplace, eFederal offers government purchasers online spot-buying of more than 134,000 computer and office products.

The new offering will provide a government-specific collaborative network for the configuration and procurement of goods and services, including computer products, office supplies, maintenance, repair and operations items, medical supplies, and specialized products and services.

"The numbers of suppliers and the technology they have developed," were the keys, Allen said. "Ariba offers the leading technology in the commercial space. And for the vertical space of government, we will customize the front end to the government buyer — including regulations and intricacies — because it's all different."

The new venture will enable government agencies to build their own specialized marketplaces with selected suppliers. Buyers can simultaneously select products from multiple suppliers and obtain them using a variety of methods. Allen said eFederal will make some more partnership and alliance announcements "in the next 30 days," but would not be at all specific.

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