Opening the e-commerce door to suppliers

Suppliers thathave been locked out of the e-marketplace because of technological barriers can bring their selling business online with hosted software from Trigo Technologies that lets suppliers manage their online channels and interact with e-procurement systems.

The company unveiled the Trigo Enterprise Platform last week and announced its involvement in Ariba's Supplier Hub Program. Trigo is one of seven companies that joined Ariba to open the e-commerce door to suppliers. With software such as Trigo's, suppliers won't have to worry about connecting with buyers. Instead, they can focus on their core business: selling their products.

Whit Andrews, an analyst with the market research firm Gartner Group, says Trigo is filling a need that will increase as more companies buy online.

"There is clearly a need. There is clearly pain," Andrews says. "For better or for worse, supplier enablement is a market the buy-side vendors and e-marketplace vendors such as Commerce One and Ariba essentially ignored until last year."

Trigo CEOTom Reilly says the companywants to address that imbalance, not only by providing a method of connecting with multiple buyers and e-procurement systems, but also by letting suppliers managetheir online channels with the same profitability they do offline.

Trigo is offering the product in an application service provider model, in which companies can get up and running quickly without the time and costs associated with implementing the software in-house.

The Trigo Enterprise Platform is built on an open API and is based on technologies such as Java and XML. It is hosted at a NaviSite data center and is presented with a browser front-end.

The platform supports four software components that not only allow suppliers to connect with a range of buyers and integrate their legacy applications, but also let users track and analyze sales, provide customized catalogs to specific customers and activate alerts when catalogs are published or orders are received.

Other companies offer similar features, "but not as cleanly and with as much automated support," says Laurie Orlov, an analyst with the market research firm Forrester Research. "Trigo supports both the aggregation of content, plus the syndication and role management for multiple destinations."

An e-business report released last week by Forrester and the National Association of Purchasing Management found that while Internet adoption is just beginning, a majority of companies plan to buy online. But the report's authors note that suppliers have a lot of work to do to meet the online needs and expectations of buyers.

The Trigo Enterprise Platform will be available Feb. 1, Reilly says. The cost ranges from $25,000 to $75,000 plus setup fees.

Trigo: www.trigo.com

This story, "Opening the e-commerce door to suppliers" was originally published by NetworkWorld.

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