ASX-listed channel company Volante has announced its B2B business, VIT Online, has been selected as the major supplier of technology goods to PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) e.conomy portal and ANZ banks' anzebiz portal.
VIT Online will offer its catalogue of 30,000 software and hardware products to the two portals, and be contracted for the fulfilment of any IT purchases made through the portals.
The two portals are working on slightly different models, but both involve the streamlining of procurement in small to medium businesses, by offering the sourcing of a wide range of products and services through a single portal. These products and services include everything from stationary, travel and accommodation, temporary staff services and IT goods.
PwC's e.conomy portal will offer a direct link into the Volante Online catalogue, which will still be branded under the Volante name. VIT Online managing director Hugh Bickerstaff said PwC has attracted 170 members to the service, aiming for companies with over $50 million annual turnover. Bickerstaff suggests this opens up an entirely new class of customer to VIT Online, which currently serves around 2,000 small to medium business customers. "In that sense it is incremental business," he said.
The ANZ portal (anzebiz) is being pitched at the bank's business clients who wish to source items such as stationary and IT goods along with their financial services. This portal links into VIT Online's catalogues to source IT goods, but the service will retain its ANZ branding.
Bickerstaff said vertical eProcurement portals are becoming widespread, and expects to announce another large partner in the near future. He is confident the portals will eventually provide a large percentage of VIT Online's revenues, but in the short term they will make little impact on a company with revenues of over $240 million a year. "As with any new venture, it will take time to get any traction," he said.
When asked whether he could see companies comfortable with procuring IT goods through a bank, Bickerstaff said it depends on how the bank pitches the value-added service. "If customers can see the capability to save money by streamlining their processes, they won't hesitate."