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Intel launches B2B e-marketplace as rivals fold

Paul Donovan
Semiconductor giant Intel has launched a B2B e-marketplace despite the closure of a similar venture by PC vendor Dell.

Paul Donovan

The Intel Business Advantage Portal seeks to provide a channel for vendors, customers and suppliers to come together and exchange goods.

The system will enable Intel dealers to earn discounts and commissions on PC products and e-business services.

Graham Palmer, public relations manager for Intel in the UK, said: "At present, customers need to go to a number of different vendors for a solution. We have now brought all the vendors together so that a solution can be provided direct to the customer."

The Intel B2B marketplace has already been launched in the US and Canada and is now being piloted in the UK.

Mat Hanrahan, an analyst at Bloor Research, said B2B exchanges had failed in the past due to suppliers not getting a good enough deal. "In the case of Dell the company made money cutting margins. By creating an exchange suppliers were being asked to compete with each other before approaching Dell - where is the benefit in that for them?"

The B2B Dell marketplace opened last September but closed last week after only three companies - 3M, Motorola and Pitney Bowes - had signed up.

Hanrahan believes the fate of the Intel venture will ultimately depend on the same criteria. "Intel have got a unique place within the marketplace. The success or otherwise of the exchange is going to depend on how suppliers feel and ultimately whether they join up or not," said Hanrahan.


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