Business-to-business hubs to connect

Business-to-business hubs to connect

Rambora Technologies has released a prospectus to the ASX to raise $5.5 million in order to continue the development and implementation of middleware that connects B2B eProcurement exchanges.

Rambora is the result of Money Mining's purchase of Satcom, a private company that developed a business directory application called SupplySearch, used to source and contract suppliers in and between procurement communities. The resulting entity will be publicly listed as "Rambora Technologies".

The SupplySearch technology is an agnostic application that can integrate with a variety of vendor platforms in online exchanges, such as Ariba, CommerceOne and Oracle, and provides users with detailed product classifications, technical specifications, requests for quotation and quality assurance information.

SupplySearch is used in the US by the Department of Defence and NASA, and was recently implemented under the CommSupply brand in a 10-year contract with the Commonwealth Bank. CommSupply is an exchange where the Bank's 500,000 plus SME customers are able to save on supply costs, with the bank profiting from transaction fees and lending opportunities as a result. The Commonwealth Bank has also become an equity partner in Rambora Technologies.

In addition to SupplySearch, Rambora Technologies also owns a 33.33 per cent share in Epic Systems reselling it procurement products.

Rambora Technologies chief executive officer Geoff Gander sees the supply chain as the area where most Internet profits will be made, and expects the startup to be profitable by the 2001/2002 fiscal year.

"We are in the right space at the right time," he said. "B2B is the sector where real money will be made - where the Internet will truly deliver the commercial benefits it promises."

"At present there are 900 or so eProcure exchanges on a global basis, with a forecast of 10,000 worldwide by 2003," he said. "The potential for SupplySearch as the ‘glue' in these complex eProcure trading environments is enormous."

In a similar announcement last week, IBM, Microsoft and Ariba announced the design of a standardised "electronic yellow pages" that assists in sourcing supplies online. The standard, to be named the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) standard, will allow companies to know what protocols and platforms other companies use when sourcing new business deals.

Aside from these three vendors, the alliance behind the new standard includes the likes of American Express, Anderson Consulting, CommerceOne, Compaq, Dell, Nortel and Sun.

For Rambora CEO Geoff Gander, it is a move that highlights the growth of the B2B space. However, he is disappointed that the vendors are unaware that the technology is already available to integrate exchanges.

"You have to ask the question whether this is a bunch of large corporates positioning themselves as the ‘directory of directories'," he said. "Everyone wants such a register, but we would argue that the technology that can link exchanges together is already here today.

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