Hewlett-Packard Teams Up to Launch Ariba.com

Now it’s Hewlett-Packard’s turn. One day after Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) launched its online store, and two days after Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) announced its deal with Beyond.com (Nasdaq: BYND), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HWP) made its major e-commerce plans public.

On Wednesday, Hewlett-Packard announced that it has partnered with privately held Ariba to launch Ariba.com, the world’s largest business-to-business commerce network for operating resources over the Internet. The two companies will create a site that will allow businesses to purchase everything from books and office products to software and hardware. The site will connect buyers to suppliers using Ariba’s Operating Resource Management System (Ariba ORMS).

Ariba.com will user Hewlett-Packard’s hardware and technology to run the Web site, which already has an impressive list of suppliers and clients. Suppliers include Barnes & Noble, Beyond.com, Digital River, Office Depot, pcOrder and Staples. Clients include Advanced Micro Devices, Chevron, Cisco Systems, FedEx, Merck and Visa.

Clients Have Massive Spending Power

Ariba’s existing customers spend more than $67 billion (US$) in operating resource purchases annually.

“This huge concentration in buying power has created explosive demand in the supplier community to connect to Ariba ORMS customers,” said Keith Krach, president and CEO at Ariba.

“Ariba shares our vision of next-generation electronic services that seamlessly link together entire supply chains of transactions,” said Ann Livermore, Hewlett-Packard vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Computing Solutions Organization.

Even Ariba’s clients see the enormous potential.

“Now, with Ariba.com Network, Ariba is the first to execute on an extended vision of a standards-based network commerce solution that connects buyers and suppliers over the Internet,” said Michele Sordal, manager of corporate supply at Cisco Systems.

Busy Week for HP

On Tuesday, Hewlett-Packard, the world’s third-largest computer manufacturer, announced that it was splitting into two separate companies: a computer and imaging venture, and a smaller testing, measuring and medical business.

The move follows disappointing earnings and a stock price that has lagged the broader markets. On Wednesday, after the announcement about the deal with Ariba.com, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter upgraded Hewlett Packard from neutral to outperform.

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