CommerceNet, ONCE Merge

e-Commerce organizations join forces to expand services

e-Commerce organizations join forces to expand services

Palo Alto, CA  September 24, 2003  CommerceNet, a vendor-neutral technology consortium helping businesses create electronic trading networks, and the Open Network for Commerce Exchange (ONCE), the largest business-to-business (B2B) alliance of electronic trading networks, merged this week.

Founded in 1994, CommerceNet provides a forum intended to help cross industry groups work together to accelerate e-commerce. ONCE, with more than 30 member companies, constitutes the largest alliance of electronic trading networks, customers and technology companies in the world.

Under the merger agreement, CommerceNet will create a new membership division, the nucleus of which will consist of the existing ONCE organization, its members, programs and employees. As part of the CommerceNet organization, ONCE will expand its services to include a dedicated network infrastructure and an improved member information Web site.

CommerceNet and ONCE have previously collaborated on a number of initiatives, including the development of a low cost catalog management solution for small and medium-sized enterprises, Web services research and joint education and conference events.

"The merger represents a natural evolution for both organizations to bring together our mutual strengths and complementary experience so that, together, we will have greater industry impact for our members," said Kerry Lamson, ONCE CEO, who will become general manager of the newly combined member programs. "As a unified organization, we expect to increase our value to existing members and attract new members with even greater reach and stronger programs."

"CommerceNet's experience working with ONCE on education events and conferences clearly proved the complementary strengths of our two organizations," said Kevin Surace, CEO of CommerceNet. "This merger builds on our common goals of making interoperability a reality for global businesses, and we will leverage our successful, proven relationship to create one effective and efficient organization."

Thomas Westbrook, president and CEO of World Wide Wood Network, which operates a subscription-based electronic marketplace for the wood products industry, gave the merger a thumbs-up.

"World Wide Wood Network became involved in ONCE because it is the best forum to exchange ideas and network with leading practitioners worldwide about the development of best practices in e-commerce," said Westbrook, who also heads ONCE's Business Services Committee. "The fact that ONCE and CommerceNet are becoming one adds more weight to an already influential organization."