FRAMINGHAM (06/23/2000) - Application service provider NaviSite Inc. plans to break into the business-to-business arena this week with a program designed to give users a way to streamline the process of setting up and maintaining their online sites.
NaviSite's Fr@mework Program will give end users a point of contact for software applications, hosting, integration and managed services required to build and launch high-end, commercial online marketplaces. Companies are using business-to-business sites for everything from purchasing manufacturing components to office supplies. The sites reduce the amount of paperwork and time customers spend on the telephone, as well as providing companies with more options for purchasing - which can reduce overall costs.
For example, at FuelStop.com, buyers and sellers of energy products, such as gas and oil, can use FuelStop's business-to-business site to make deals and compare prices. Using NaviSite's Fr@mework Program, FuelStop developed and had its site running in about six months - about six months sooner than company executives expected.
FuelStop's Chief Architect Anne Berniack says the company decided to use Fr@mework Program because the company would get end-to-end services such as site development, including application development and integration, systems integration, maintenance and ongoing support.
FuelStop worked with NaviSite and Fr@mework Program members Idapta and Granitar to design its business-to-business site for fuel exchange. Idapta provided application development, while Granitar provided system integration. For its part, NaviSite provides managed hosting, server and application services for ongoing support, including 24-7 monitoring and problem resolution.
Observers say the business-to-business market will continue to grow. Forrester Research Inc. predicts that $1.4 trillion in trades will flow through online markets in 2004. Right now, about 72% of business-to-business sites use homegrown applications, and 40% use some manual processes, such as manually matching bids to suppliers.
Fr@mework Program includes the following services:
Application development platforms from Idapta and SilverStream.
ASPs, such as NewChannel, for customer acquisition.
PurchasingNet, for eProcurement.
ILUX, which supports campaign development.
Synchrony, which provides customer relationship management.
InvoiceLink, for online payment.
Optika, for settlement resolution.
NetGenesis, for marketplace operational analysis.
Clay Ryder, an analyst with Zona Research Inc. in Redwood City, California, says the market for business-to-business services will grow because outsourcing is almost always less expensive than setting up a site from scratch.
"The advantages for end users are cost and speed," Ryder says. Companies like NaviSite, which put together business-to-business sites as a core business focus, will have more efficient practices in place, he adds. Also the resources available make it less expensive than a company doing one-time development and deployments.
Navisite: www.navisite. com