Commerce One sells online arm as it seeks new position

16 January 2003
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16 January 2003 | Robin Parker

Commerce One has sold the online marketplace side of its business in a definitive move away from its roots and to reposition itself as a web services-based application integrator.

Online purchasing company eScout has bought, which comprises its marketplace and content operations software, as well as its managed applications services module.

The vendors describe the joint offering as "the world's largest business-to-business e-commerce marketplace", with a concentration of suppliers on one exchange reducing the need for firms to connect to multiple sites.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, adds 38 large customers and more than 1,500 transaction-ready suppliers to eScout's existing 25,000 customer base.

Commerce One will have a largely hands-off role in the running of, but will increase its existing stake in eScout and take a seat on its board of directors.

This comes as Commerce One prepares to launch version 6.0 of its core software offering, Conductor, an integrated platform to tackle document, process and transaction management.

The company has channelled all of its research and development over the past year into the new applications, with the aim of helping firms to build visible supply chains and automated processes between buyers, suppliers and customers.

The launch is the culmination of the vendor's long-term plan to move away from its origins as a provider of online business-to-business marketplaces and become an enabler of internal business process integration.

Catherine Stenson, UK marketing director at Commerce One, said: "The transaction strengthens the viability of and eScout by combining operations to eliminate the redundant costs of operating separate exchanges.

"We will be able to focus more acutely on our core initiatives."

The latest streamlining of its operations follows a string of job cuts. The company wants to cut 400 jobs by March.

Some staff will transfer to eScout, while others will be placed elsewhere within Commerce One or made redundant. For the first few months, eScout will continue to use the name before it can rebrand.


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