Telecom joins in Aust e-hub company

Telecom has entered a trading hub venture in Australia that looks far more robust than a similar foray via its domestic 'virtual joint venture', esolutions.

Telecom has entered a trading hub venture in Australia that looks far more robust than a similar foray via its domestic "virtual joint venture", esolutions.

Along with Commonwealth Bank Group (CBA), Woolworths, EDS Australia and Lion Nathan, Telecom yesterday announced the formation of Cyberlynx Procurement Services services, a limited company that will run an electronic procurement hub under the name Cyberlynx.

The trading software for Cyberlynx comes from Ariba, the US company with which Telecom and is Australian subsidiary AAPT signed licensing agreements last December and the US-based EDS subsidary eBreviate. EDS and its affiliates AT Kearney and CoNext have been working with Ariba since an agreement earlier this year.

Some or all of the software to be used has already been deployed at CBA, Telecom (as part of the fledgling esolutions trading portal) and AAPT.

The five founding companies announced yesterday that they had signed a heads of agreement. In a statement they described themselves as "culturally compatible companies" and the Cyberlynx model, which will relieve the individual partners of the need to own the technology, as "flexible and scaleable".

While the amorphous and "virtual" nature of the esolutions venture between Telecom Microsoft and EDS attracted some criticism when it was announced this year, and arguably still confuses the market, Cyberlynx is very much a "real" company. Its ownership structure is: CBA 29%; Woolworths 29%; Lion Nathan 19.4%; Telecom/AAPT 16.1%; and EDS Australia 6.5%.

Karyn Devonshire, group general manager, of Telecom Corporate Australia, noted that the company had achieved "significant internal benefits from our online e-procurement solutions provided by our existing esolutions alliance. We look forward to extending those benefits through Cyberlynx."

Barry Scott, acting chief executive officer of Cyberlynx said the "exciting" thing about Cyberlynx was that the benefits of electronic procurement would "not be confined to the founding companies. Cyberlynx will be open to the corporate market.

"Its facilities and services will enable Australian businesses to participate in leading edge internet-based procurement with cost and speed-to-market efficiencies. It is proposed to offer cross-market Internet purchasing opportunities."

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