Sell-side Access Evolves

SAN MATEO (04/22/2000) - In recent weeks, HAHT Software Inc., Ironside Technologies Inc., and SpaceWorks Inc. have debuted products that aim to make the experience for sell-side participants in trading exchanges more advantageous businesswise.

But each vendor's offering fails to tackle the biggest problem facing the often neglected sell side: a lack of differentiation, according to Shawn Willett, a senior analyst at Current Analysis, a market research company, in Sterling, Virginia.

Although there have been attempts at personalization on some of the exchanges, the buy side often only sees a catalog, a product name, and a price, Willett said.

"That leads buyers to make decisions based only on price," Willett said.

"Suppliers are having a big problem with that." The dive in prices acts to discourage sellers from coming to market.

The lack of capabilities for differentiation is "a weakness of all these solutions. All of these vendors need to do more," Willett said.

HAHT Software last week debuted a hosted, monthly subscription-based electronic marketplace, the HAHT Sellside Exchange, that helps sell-side participants link to multiple exchanges, as well as multiple buy-side exchange participants.

The Java-based technology for the new sell-side exchange is an extension of HAHT's e-Scenario Suite and makes heavy use of XML, said Rowland Archer, president and CEO of HAHT.

HAHT has also forged closer ties to Ariba Inc. and Commerce One Inc..

"I anticipate that we won't be the only ones doing this," Archer said. In fact, Ironside Technologies, in an attempt to help exchanges adopt a standard for integrating sellers, debuted Xchange earlier this month.

With its sell-side customers in mind, SpaceWorks announced that it will utilize webMethods' B2B as the integration component for SpaceWorks IntegrationManager (IM), as a result of a recent agreement with webMethods.

The webMethods/IM solution will enable suppliers to show the buy side such things as inventory levels, order status, and account buying history, said Liz Sara, vice president of marketing at SpaceWorks. "It's the relationship between buyer and seller that determines whether the buyer comes back," Sara said.

HAHT Software Inc., in Raleigh, North Carolina, is at Ironside Technologies Inc., in Pleasanton, California, is at

SpaceWorks Inc., in Rockville, Maryland, is at webMethods Inc., in Fairfax, Virginia, is at

Painful exchanges

Sell-side suppliers seek the following from exchanges.

* More differentiation and personalization when participating in trading exchanges* Easier and multiple access to exchanges* More views for the buy side into sell-side back-end systems so that inventory, order status, and related matters are transparent* Less emphasis on price, and more on service and support as distinguishing factors

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More about AribaCommerce OneHAHT SoftwareIronside TechnologiesSpaceWorksWebMethods AustraliaXchange

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