Boots became BT's first Ecommerce customer to sign on the digital line when it joined up to the company's MarketSite last week.
BT launched the MarketSite service with Commerce One. It gives BT what it claims to be the country's largest Ecommerce site for selling indirect products and services such as furniture, stationery, travel services and computer equipment. BT plans to use the site for its own purchasing of indirect goods.
Both companies will now be able to place and track orders from a range of sellers by accessing one site. BT claims that this will streamline buying processes and reduce purchasing cycle times by automatically handling purchase authorisation, accounting and contractual procedures.
Boots intends to purchase 95% of its indirect goods through Market Site.
Jonathan Gribbin, project manager for Boots' Ecommerce initiative, said: "We wanted a product that would reduce processing costs and channel spend through a reduced supplier base. We considered several options and chose the Commerce One/BT deal because it offers a user-friendly system for our employees and manages the issues of integration with multiple suppliers."
Patricia Vaz, director of BT UK Business Services, said: "We are committed to changing the way we do business by increasing the efficiency of our indirect purchasing procedures. To achieve this, we have set a target of 95% of BT's indirect procurement to be sourced using (MarketSite) by March 2000."
BT is hosting and piloting MarketSite, which is expected to go into full production in the third quarter of 1999.
The aim is to enable businesses of all sizes to purchase goods from member suppliers of the MarketSite scheme. BT will charge vendors a transaction fee based on purchase orders, while business customers will retain any existing contractural arrangements they have with participating companies.
The site is based on technology licensed from Commerce One, a US Ecommerce specialist.
To participate in the scheme, businesses need to fork out #300,000 for a 200 seat licence for Commerce One's buyer access software.
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