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The new system, which will go live in five languages on 30 June, uses e-Merge catalogue content-management software from Colarado, USA-based Requisite Technology.
With the new system, suppliers will be able to upload, modify and manage catalogue content in a central repository, according to Greg Wong, global catalogue product manager at Covisint.
The new technology will replace Covisint's legacy system, Covisint Tracker, which Wong described as time-consuming and difficult to use.
Wong said using the Covisint Tracker, a home-grown system, is a manual process. Covisint must first accept catalogue data in a variety of formats, such as flat files or XML documents, then bring that content to a central repository, where it's manually evaluated and standardised. Next, Covisint has to produce versions of the catalogue that will work with the procurement systems of its buyers.
In addition, Covisint Tracker only allows suppliers to approve the entire catalogue. If one item is wrong, then the whole catalogue is rejected, Wong said. This means that it will take longer for a supplier to get his catalogue online and into the hands of buyers, he said.
The new application will enable Covisint to approve the items that are correct and reject only the ones that are incorrect, so buyers can get the content more quickly.
"Currently, it takes a few months for a supplier to get his catalogue to buyers," Wong said. "With the new application, it will only take about a week."
Covisint is hoping the new application will bring more suppliers on board by giving them the tools necessary to work more efficiently with buyers.
Albert Pang, an analyst at IDC, said he thinks the new system will help jump-start Covisint's supplier-enablement program, which he said has been disappointing because of the general reluctance of second and third-tier suppliers to work with Covisint.