E-procurement hub serves government buyers

PartnershipAmerica.com was launched today as a new online marketplace connecting government IT buyers on the federal, state and local levels with solutions providers in the private sector.

The site, developed by Ingram Micro employs a request for quote (RFQ) and price comparison system similar to those found in traditional business-to-business e-procurement applications, said Pam Smith, vice president of channel development at the Santa Ana, Calif.-based company.

"Resellers needed an e-commerce tool to connect with their existing customer base and to compete with the branded sites," Smith said. "We built an online e-procurement hub to find technology solutions providers that fit the specific needs of the public sector. It gives [resellers] lower operating costs, greater efficiency in their business and better online interaction."

What makes the site different from other e-procurement portals is that government users can browse through resellers' catalogs until they find the right products at the right price, Smith said. "There's no direct competition, not with all the different resellers together. With other portals, you can't compare across other catalogs unless you use a search engine."

The new site is targeted at any federal, state and local government body, as well as all levels of educational institutions, said Jason Kosewick, director of government business development at Ingram Micro.

Among the resellers already signed on to participate are Government Micro Resources, Sawtooth Technologies and Western Blue Corp.

Smith said Ingram Micro demonstrated the new tool at some recent trade shows, including E-Gov in Washington, D.C., and said the government and education users showed a "great response" to the features

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