Big Biz Still Believes

Study says that marketplaces will have staying power

January 29, 2001 -- Although many will remember 2000 as the year the e-business bottom fell out, a recent survey found that big businesses' faith in e-marketplaces is growing and that small and medium-sized enterprises are important to corporate America's e-strategy.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Metiom, the builder of many-to-many e-marketplaces, found that as large companies begin to generate revenues from e-business operations they plan to invest more in B2B electronic commerce and will continue to increase their e-marketplace involvement. Among those surveyed, the number of businesses with revenues of $100 million or more that planned to invest at least $500,000 into an e-marketplace increased, and nearly half of these businesses (42 percent) will invest upwards of $3 million in 2001. A significant majority of respondents (73 percent) said that small and medium businesses are important to their e-marketplace strategy.

These survey results are exciting because they validate Metiom's strategy of working with big business to bring medium and small businesses into a growing e-marketplace arena. The Harris-Metiom survey offers some terrific news amidst a plethora of perceptions to the contrary, said Chris Wagner, president and CEO of Metiom.

The survey found that decision-makers at big businesses believed that investing in an e-marketplace can limit customer turnover and increase customer loyalty, attract and retain new customers, extend their brand power and identity, and leverage their existing customer base as a source for suppliers as well as buyers.

Increasingly, big businesses are finding that involvement in e-marketplaces offers revenue and cost-saving opportunities. noted Ray Fattell, senior vice president of JP Morgan Chase & Co. We initiated our e-marketplace strategy in 1999 with the development of an enterprise e-procurement solution using Metiom's technology. We are continually increasing our commitment to e-commerce and have just launched, an e-marketplace powered by Metiom. bPurchase brings those opportunities to JP Morgan Chase small business customers and prospects.

The potential of networking millions of small businesses through e-marketplaces sponsored by large, well-recognized and trusted organizations is simply tremendous. At Metiom, we believe this business model will both survive and flourish for many years to come. Our survey is only a foreshadowing of that success, said Michael Collins, senior vice president of global marketing for Metiom.

The Metiom-sponsored survey consisted of 821 business decision-makers polled via the Internet. The respondents selected were identified as being C-level executives or were influential in the purchase decisions of technology for their company. The respondents were chosen from the Harris Interactive online panel of over 7 million cooperative respondents.

The Metiom-Harris Interactive survey provides some interesting numbers. The responses clearly show a close relationship between increased e-marketplace spend and small- and medium-sized businesses. It will be even more interesting to see how this trend plays out in the coming months when things even out in the overall B2B marketplace. If the results of this survey are still accurate 18 to 24 months from now, suppliers who focus on serving the SMB universe will emerge as winners, said Lisa Williams of the Boston-based Yankee Group.