B2B exchange rattles IT partner cage

Controversial B2B exchange portal corProcure has announced it is still in negotiations with several partners to rollout the e-commerce platform designed to link 14 of Australia's largest corporate bodies.corProcure remains tight lipped after extensive speculation within the IT industry as to which companies are in the running to secure the lucrative contract estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

"The reason why I don't want to go into who's who at the zoo is because it wouldn't be fair to the players concerned or the process we are currently engaged in," claims Cameron Moroney, who was named CEO of corProcure yesterday.corProcure is a joint venture project of 14 Australian listed companies, including AMP, Australia Post, ANZ, Coca-Cola Amatil, Telstra, Foster's Brewing Group and BHP designed to minimise companies peripheral production costs.corProcure's budgeted IT investment also remains undisclosed, however all 14 companies have anti-upped $1 million just to sit at the table and further investments are expected as the project evolves.

Moroney claims the first priority is to get the e-commerce platform of the marketplace up and running before enhancing the functionality of the B2B exchange.

According to the new CEO, there are three to four companies vying for the lion's share of the platform building, but corProcure isn't limiting itself to a single technology partner.

"It doesn't matter which marketplace you care to name, and it doesn't matter how big the name is, no one has the complete functionality to do the job we envision we need to do in the next couple of years," he said.

"The message I'd really like to get out to those players who are probably feeling a level of frustration because we can only cover so many bases, respond to so many people, in a short period of time, is that this is a process that we're working through," Moroney continued.

"We have to sort out what the backbone technology is for the marketplace, and then we'll start in the process of rounding out the functionality with a number of niche technologies, that will make the difference in terms of this thing moving forward."

The consortium was able to announce that it has signed its fate this morning with all 14 companies inking a shareholder's agreement, dispelling rumours the giant collaborative may never get off the ground. Hearsay was rife in the weeks leading up to today's signing with industry sources claiming corporate egos stood in the way of any sustaining relationship.

Moroney opened the press conference by blasting media skepticism corProcure wouldn't make it this far after signing a heads of agreement 45 days ago.

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