Microsoft Leads Promotional Tour for B2B ePurchasing

Microsoft and MasterCard are the marquee names behind a new 12-city tour by Clarus Corp. (Nasdaq: CLRS) to promote business-to-business electronic commerce. The trio recently launched a new WebPurchasing initiative providing end-to-end corporate purchasing tools to make it easier for companies to shift their buying processes to the Internet.

Clarus devised the WebPurchasing program to increase its share of the online business-to-business market by pushing more businesses into cyberspace. WebPurchasing is based on the Microsoft commerce platform, the Clarus eProcurement corporate purchasing application and the MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card.

Cybersynergy

Clarus’ eProcurement software helps employees find approved goods and services on the Internet from other e-commerce companies, conduct workflow and approval processes, and pay for purchases with the MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card. The Clarus software is already in use by more than 20 Web sites for customers such as MetLife, First Data Corp., Hyatt Regency and MasterCard. In addition, the program connects to Clarus’ SupplierUniverse, a business trading network that helps buyers and sellers find each other.

The program also includes Microsoft’s Site Server Commerce Edition, software that enables businesses to build and maintain Web sites for online retailing, corporate purchasing and value chain trading.

MasterCard’s Corporate Purchasing Solutions enables companies to use the MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card for business purchases. It manages those purchases with specific data provided by Clarus’ eProcurement software. The MasterCard purchasing card captures line item purchase order data from the Clarus program and integrates it with the card reports to help employees reconcile accounts and track purchases.

Hands On Introductions

The three are offering free management forums this month and next month to demonstrate how business purchasing on the Web makes procurement, payment and delivery easier and more cost-effective. The sessions include information on all three companies’ products. Lest the seminars look too much like commercials for the three companies, they will also include discussions of ways to outsource business-to-business purchasing. The tour will make stops in St. Louis, Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Boston, Seattle, San Jose, Calif., Los Angeles, Baltimore, Charlotte, Dallas, and Tampa.

“The WebPurchasing program is designed to help enforce purchasing policies and improve negotiated discounts. Using the combined power of commerce technology and our corporate purchasing cards, we’re making it easy for companies to use e-commerce to improve business processes,” says Mei Morin, MasterCard vice president of corporate products.

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