Ariba and Commerce One report losses

Business-to-business software vendor Ariba has announced that its revenue slide continued in the last quarter. But chief...

Business-to-business software vendor Ariba has announced that its revenue slide continued in the last quarter. But chief executive Robert Calderoni promised that Ariba would break-even in June.

The company suffered a disastrous 2001 after what looked like a solid 2000. In the final quarter of 2000, Ariba brought in $170m (£118m) in revenues and turned a profit.

Ariba was one of the first casualties of the US economic downturn, going through three chief executives, slashing its workforce, ending its online marketplace product line and calling off its intended purchase of Agile Software.

Ariba's revenues for the quarter that ending 31 December 2001 were $55.3m (£38.6m), down from $62.6m during the previous quarter. The company's net loss for the quarter was $161m (£112.5m).

Calderoni noted that Ariba's new sourcing product, which is designed to help a company find online trading partners and score bid submissions, constituted 30% of its new sales last quarter. Contract-adherence, invoicing and spend analysis tools will follow this quarter, he said.

All of the new products will be tied to Ariba's supplier network. "New revenues will either move sideways or up," Calderoni promised. "We've taken the hit."

While he said that no one can predict what will happen with the economy, Calderoni said he expects US sales to rebound.

"The US market was the first to turn down this time last last year, and we think that [it] will be the first to recover," he said.

Commerce One reports earnings drop
Ariba rival Commerce One also reported a drop in quarterly revenue to $56m (£39m) from $81.1m in the previous quarter.

Commerce One's net loss for the quarter totalled $168.3m (£117.7m), or $0.59 per share.

Commerce One and Compaq Computer also announced a deal to sell Commerce One software to small and medium-sized businesses using Compaq hardware and business services.

The deal marks another partnering arrangement for the B2B vendor, which also has partnerships with SAP and SeeBeyond Technology.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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