Southern e-Comfort

Atlantas Idapta Looking Peachy

Do the California e-procurement big boys need to start worrying about a Southern interloper? At first glance, taking on Commerce One and Ariba might seem as doomed a venture as Jim Carrey doing Hamlet, but Atlanta-based Idapta is making some strides toward challenging the acknowledged leaders of e-procurement platforms.

Idapta, which already has consulting and technology partnerships with such heavy hitters as Clarus, Cohera, CommerceRoute, eCredit, Sun, iXL and Apar Infotech, today was selected to power LevelSeas voyage chartering system, which will be used by ship owners, brokers and chartering companies. UK-based LevelSeas already has the backing of BP Amoco, Cargill and the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, among others. This union of United States and United Kingdom companies could turn out to be extremely profitable for Idapta, since the seaborne freight industry is a $100 billion pool of revenue. Not bad for a company that was only founded in February 1999.

LevelSeas will implement Idaptas MarketExchange and Commerce OP applications. MarketExchange is designed to offer multiple trading mechanisms through a common interface, and Commerce OP expedites the integration of pre- and post-transaction applications into e-markets.

Granted, even high-profile, high-dollar deals such as this one dont mean Idapta will become a third member of the elite e-procurement establishment. But it does mean there will be more options for purchasers, so the likelihood of finding a solution that fits your company is now more likely. And sometimes a relative newcomer can make a big impact and become a major player. Remember when the big three networks laughed at Fox?