Broadvision, the e-commerce software supplier, has launched Market Maker - an application to build e-commerce hubs that combine transaction facilities with content management and personalisation features.
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Broadvision is up against CommerceOne and Ariba in a race to become "best-of-breed" in the much-hyped business-to-business (B2B) marketplace.
The basic products on offer from all suppliers allow e-marketplaces to create aggregated supplier catalogues, request quotations and run auctions.
Market Maker plays to the strengths of Broadvision's One-to-One Web personalisation software, offering the ability to serve content dynamically to individual buyers and sellers. It also bolts on to the basic transaction system the facility for online negotiations and threaded forum discussions.
But observers believe there are just too many e-marketplaces: many are struggling to drive up the volume of transactions, and are looking to added content and personalisation as the way to do it.
Analyst IDC predicts that global spending in e-marketplaces will reach $1.2 trillion by 2004.
Scott McLarnon, vice-president of IDC's Software Consulting, said, "Although many e-communities are being built, not all will achieve the customer base and liquidity needed to survive."
Market Maker runs on HP-UX and Solaris versions of Unix.
Dell has also signed up e-commerce personalisation specialist Exterprise to add customer-focused detail to the site. The site - www.dellmarketplace.com - runs on Ariba's B2B Exchange software and Windows 2000.