Cable & Wireless Optus today announced a strategic alliance with a major US-based e-commerce specialist, Commerce One, to establish Australia's first global business-to-business electronic marketplace.
This is an exclusive agreement that creates a global trading web alliance between Cable & Wireless Optus and some of the world's leading telecommunication companies including British Telecom, NTT and SingTel.
Called "CWO MarketSite", the Australian portal will link buyers and suppliers in a real-time trading community and is expected to generate 150 million transactions over the next five years. Optus will immediately begin development of the local portal planned to be operational by March 2000.
CWO MarketSite will link a global network of portals operated by Commerce One in the US, BT in the UK, NTT in Japan and SingTel in Singapore to provide a global e-commerce market for corporate and government organisations and small and medium sized businesses.
Cable & Wireless Optus will join these carriers as a member of Commerce One's Global Trading Web Council playing a role in determining the strategic development of the Global Trading Web.
"The Australian e-commerce market is expected to grow to $16 billion a year by 2002," said Chris Anderson, Chief Executive of Cable & Wireless Optus.
"Our agreement with Commerce One gives us a significant advantage in establishing a global portal from which we will deliver complete e-commerce services for the business and SME markets.
"Commerce One is the world's leading e-trade enabler combining advanced technology which embraces open standards, interconnected marketplaces and value added services.
"We believe that with Commerce One we can offer customers the best local and global e-solutions possible," he said.
Commerce One will provide Cable & Wireless Optus with its Commerce Chain Solution which includes BuySite, which automates the internal procurement process from requisition to order, and MarketSite, which automates supplier interactions from order to payment.
"MarketSite will allow Cable & Wireless Optus to leverage its existing relationship with Australia's top corporate and government organisations by enabling them to trade their goods and services on-line," said Mr Anderson
At present Optus services 90 per cent of Australia's top 100 corporations and most major governments Federal and State.
"Our customers will have the first opportunity to join the global trading community through CWO MarketSite," he said.
"BuySite will provide companies savings of up to 15 per cent on the cost of goods purchased and around 70 per cent on transaction costs."
Cable & Wireless Optus will become the first tenant for MarketSite which will be used to place and track orders from a range of companies.
Other customer value added services include streamlined buying processes and reduced purchasing cycle times through automatic handling of purchase orders and payments, as well as freight, accounting and contractual procedures.
Mark Hoffman, CEO and president of Commerce One, said the agreement with Cable & Wireless Optus would enable Commerce One to extend its leadership in electronic solutions from the United States to the Pacific regions and further into Asia.
"Our expertise in electronic solutions coupled with Optus' brand strength, network infrastructure and supply chain expertise will enable us to deliver comprehensive solutions and provide superior levels of customer support and service. Australian businesses adopting the Commerce Chain Solution will enjoy improved operational efficiency, reduced costs and greater buying power," Mr Hoffman said.
Mr Anderson said the agreement with Commerce One marked the next major stage in the development of Cable & Wireless Optus' e-solutions strategy.
"Cable & Wireless Optus has been customising electronic trading solutions for a range of corporate and government customers over the past 18 months. This new deal with Commerce One sees our e-commerce strategy invigorated through the development and provision of a real-time, global trading community," he said.
About Commerce One
Commerce One is a leading provider of electronic commerce solutions that link buying and supplying organisations into real-time trading communities. The Commerce Chain Solution by Commerce One, comprised of Commerce One BuySite and Commerce One MarketSite, enables companies to significantly reduce operational costs and increase efficiency by automating the entire indirect goods and services supply chain. As a result, enterprise organisations are able to realise a strategic competitive advantage as well as a rapid return on investment. Commerce One is located in Walnut Creek, California and can be reached by phone at (800) 308-3838 or (925) 941-6000 or via the Internet at www.commerceone.com.
For more information:
Cable & Wireless Optus
Phone: 02 9342 7850