In conjunction with the Microsoft Commerce Solutions Briefing held for press and analysts in San Francisco Thursday, Microsoft Corp., MasterCard International Inc. and Clarus Corp. announced plans to cooperatively market integrated Internet-based corporate purchasing solutions. Together, the three companies plan to provide Internet buyers and sellers with an integrated solution for streamlined purchasing, payment and procurement reporting. Microsoft contributes its globally recognized, robust and proven Commerce Platform, based on the Windows operating system. MasterCard, one of the world’s leading providers of corporate payment solutions, provides global merchant acceptance, corporate purchasing card control features and line-item data reporting. And Clarus offers leading Web-based commerce solutions, including its business-to-business electronic procurement product.
“We are very pleased to be working with companies of MasterCard and Clarus’ caliber,” said Rich Tong, vice president, applications marketing at Microsoft. “Microsoft Commerce Platform, combined with Clarus(TM) E-Procurement and the MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card, offers our joint customers a unique opportunity to reduce the cost of corporate purchasing while making Internet commerce a strategic asset to their organization.”
Making Corporate Procurement Easier
The cooperative marketing plans between Microsoft, MasterCard and Clarus are designed to make corporate purchasing easier, less expensive and more efficient. Instead of issuing requests for proposals (RFPs), poring over catalogs and calling dozens of suppliers to investigate product availability and pricing, corporate buyers will be able to shop for goods and services easily and securely from their intranet using the Clarus E-Procurement solution, built on the Microsoft Commerce Platform. Using the MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card, employees can find approved goods and services over the Internet, conduct workflow and approval processes, and execute payment. Suppliers can easily create commerce-focused Web sites that seamlessly integrate transactions and product updates with their corporate buyers’ systems.
“The agreement with Microsoft and Clarus will provide unparalleled opportunities for our corporate customers to quickly and easily take advantage of e-commerce for purchasing,” said Steve Abrams, senior vice president, corporate products at MasterCard International. “Corporate purchasing cards have been embraced because they reduce costs and enhance data capture. With this program, we will integrate these strengths with the real-time benefits that the Internet provides.”
MasterCard has implemented this integrated Web-based procurement solution in its own organization, allowing the company to slash the average time required to fill a purchase order by 70 percent and cut the cost of processing purchase orders from $125 to $40. (To read the full case study, see .)
Three Leaders Come Together
Microsoft, MasterCard and Clarus offer customers leadership status in their respective businesses. Microsoft today announced plans for extending its popular Commerce Platform, which currently consists of the Microsoft Windows NT(R) Server operating system version 4.0, Microsoft SQL Server(TM) version 7.0 and Site Server Commerce Edition version 3.0, to include three new software products and services: Microsoft BizTalk Server, Small Business Commerce Services and Microsoft Commerce Server. (See the related press release for more information on Microsoft’s platform announcements.)
MasterCard is accepted at over 16 million merchants worldwide, and, in a recent study conducted by Gunn Partners of Fortune 500 companies, was ranked as the card brand chosen most often when companies implemented corporate purchasing card programs.
Clarus E-Procurement, built entirely on the Microsoft Commerce Platform, is a leading-edge Web-based solution for managing the procurement of all operational goods and services. It includes advanced features such as event-based purchasing, flexible business rules modeling and a robust approval-routing engine. The product also supports comprehensive catalog content management, corporate back-office system integration, the Microsoft Commerce Interchange Pipeline for supplier integration and MasterCard’s Corporate Purchasing Card for streamlined payment and reporting.
“The Microsoft Commerce Platform provides a scalable and flexible foundation that is paramount for broad-based deployment of strategic solutions such as Clarus E-Procurement,” said Steve Jeffery, CEO and president at Clarus. “Teaming with MasterCard and Microsoft will help us bring advanced corporate purchasing solutions to a broader market of Internet buyers and sellers.”
The three companies plan to comarket their integrated Internet corporate purchasing solutions and services to corporate customers and prospects through a national campaign. The solution will be implemented through MasterCard’s network of financial institutions; by Microsoft’s network of solution providers, system integrators and Internet service providers; and by Clarus Professional Services and its partners. More details of the marketing agreement and the integrated solution will be available at the upcoming Gartner Group Internet and Electronic Commerce Conference and Exposition (iEC) and National Association of Purchasing Management conferences in April and May.
MasterCard International has the most comprehensive portfolio of payment brands in the world. With 23,000 member financial institutions serving consumers in 220 countries and territories, MasterCard is the industry leader in quality and innovation. Nearly 700 million MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Mondex cards are accepted at more than 16.2 million locations worldwide. In 1998, gross dollar volume exceeded $650 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at .
Atlanta-based Clarus Corp. ( ) is the leading provider of Business Resource Management (BRM) solutions through its Web-based Commerce applications. These products enable organizations to get control of their operational resources at the front lines, which dramatically contributes to its bottom line. Since 1991, the company’s Web-based Commerce, Financial and Human Resource Management solutions have served such customers as First Data Corp., MasterCard International, Hyatt Regency Chicago, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Investment Technology Group, Toronto Dominion Bank, The Container Store, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, H.D. Vest Financial Services, Land’s End Inc. and Chartwell Re Holdings Corp.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.Details