CCP Global Inc., a business-to-business software and systems integrator, last week introduced a managed service that streamlines electronic purchasing between suppliers and buyers.

GPS (Global PunchOut Suite) creates a connection between a suppliers e-storefront and online catalog and a buyer connected to Ariba Inc.s ACSN (Ariba Commerce Services Network). This connection provides buyers with real-time access to product description and pricing information, as well as configuration tools.

GPS, which uses technology similar to Aribas PunchOut software, supports all PunchOut levels—including create, edit and inspect—and all PunchOut types—that is, stores, aisles and items. It also logs transactions, events and errors.

The software intercepts an order presented on the ACSN via XML, transforms it into a format that a suppliers e-commerce software understands and ships it to the suppliers order management system.

Because Chicago-based CCP Global uses a repeatable methodology it developed in 37 Ariba Buyer implementations, the service reduces the time it typically takes to set up this punchout facility from two to six months to only two weeks, officials said. The cost to the supplier falls from $100,000 to $10,000 plus a monthly fee of $1,000. The hosted service can connect multiple buyers to a single supplier.

CCP Global will redesign the service by June to work with B2B transaction software from other major vendors, including Commerce One Inc. and Clarus Corp.

CCP Global officials said they are creating adapters to link transactions to other back-end processes such as enterprise financials and inventory management.

Consolidated Graphics Inc. used GPS to create an interface between a big buyer and its COIN (custom interactive ordering network) software, which enables buyers to order online printed materials, such as letterheads and envelopes. The buyer was already using ACSN and Ariba spend management software to enforce companywide e-procurement rules.

When the buyer using the ACSN initiates a transaction (the process is called a punchout), a cXML (commerce XML) document called a setup request is sent via GPS to Consolidateds COIN application. COINs response is routed back through GPS, said James Cage, vice president of IT at Consolidated.

“Without GPS, we would have had to write our own integration of COIN to the ACSN to be able to handle the processing of these XML transactions; we’ve never done that,” said Cage, in Houston.

CCP Global set up the service in a month and at a cost lower than other systems integrators had bid, Cage said.
By: John S. McCright