It's Like Napster without the Lawsuits

Peer-to-peer in the supply chain

Pittsburgh  July 19, 2001  Remember peer-to-peer? It was the revolution that Napster was supposed to spark. It was going to drastically change the way computer networks operated forever. Unfortunately for Napster, the courts haven't taken a friendly view of peer-to-peer technology, at least when music companies are missing out on revenues, as a result of it.

However, Napster isn't the only peer-to-peer development out there on the cyber horizon. There are even P2P developments in the B2B segment, where the combined weight of marketplaces would seem to be a huge obstacle for a technology that directly links computers in an any-to-any arrangement. As proof of that assertion, I offer the news that OpenWebs, a provider of e-business solutions utilizing P2P technology, recently announced the acquisition of San Francisco-based Blue Tiger Networks, a provider of peer-to-peer based e-marketplace software. Brad Oberwager, CEO of Blue Tiger Networks, has been named CEO of OpenWebs, succeeding Wes Lucas, who will remain as chairman of the board of directors. A.J. McKenna will continue as president of OpenWebs. Blue Tiger will relocate its operations to Pittsburgh.

It became very clear after initial discussions that our two firms share a similar vision that peer-to-peer-enabled e-business software will quickly become the gold standard of business, said A.J. McKenna, president of OpenWebs. Our partnership with Blue Tiger brings true B2B commerce closer to reality by enabling OpenWebs to greatly accelerate product rollout and implementation. The whole will truly be greater than the sum of its parts.

I'm honored to join the ranks of such an accomplished management team, said Brad Oberwager, CEO of OpenWebs. Based on deep industry experience and great technical vision, OpenWebs has built and implemented a world-class software platform for the tire-industry, revolutionizing the way trading is done among tire manufacturers, distributors and retailers. OpenWebs' intelligent tradingNetwork technology will reinvent demand chain management and I'm proud to be a part of the team that will take the company through its next level of growth.

The addition of Blue Tiger Networks' Java-based, lightweight software is designed to complement OpenWebs technology by providing an onramp to its tradingNetwork, an integrated application suite that is used to build industry-specific, peer-to-peer networks, enabling OpenWebs to deploy its solution in other vertical markets. Blue Tiger also brings strategic partners such as Commerce One and Softbank Venture Capital, which will further build momentum for the company. Marty Tenenbaum, chief scientist for Commerce One will serve on OpenWebs advisory board.

Recognizing the synergies between Blue Tiger and OpenWebs, I'm pleased to see their relationship develop into a formal partnership, said Tenenbaum. I believe their combined P2P technology is impressive because it provides a simple solution for managing complex distribution chains in a variety of industries.