Volume 9, Number 45 -- December 15, 2009

Inovis and GXS To Merge, Create B2B Behemoth

Published: December 15, 2009

by Alex Woodie

i OS EDI and B2B e-commerce software provider Inovis and GXS, one of Inovis' largest competitors, have decided to merge their businesses, the companies announced last week. The resulting company will easily be the largest B2B e-commerce services provider in the industry--and Forrester says it will help customers.

Due to the need for regulatory approval, the marriage of Inovis, a privately held company based in Atlanta, Georgia, and GXS, a privately held company based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, won't be culminated for several months, at the earliest.

When the deal does go through--and nobody seems to be saying the government will nix it--the resulting company will be the new reigning giant of the evolving market for B2B e-commerce software and services, which includes such sprawling product categories as EDI, AS1-AS3, managed file transfer (MFT), master data management (MDM), data synchronization, and VAN operations.

"This merger is a big step forward in the evolution of the B2B e-commerce industry," says Sean Feeney, president and CEO of Inovis. "The complementary products of these two companies create significant value for customers that are seeking a single global provider for B2B e-commerce."

Indeed, GXS was already the largest B2B service provider, and processes more than 8 billion transactions per year, according to Forrester; Inovis, with 1 billion transactions per year, was fourth, behind Sterling Commerce and EasyLink. When it comes to products, Forrester ranked GXS and Inovis as the top two B2B service providers in terms of features and product strategy.

In a piece published last week, Forrester analyst Ken Vollmer sounds bullish on the deal. "Forrester does not believe that this development should be any reason for concern among existing customers or those who are considering becoming customers of either of these two B2B providers," Vollmer summarizes. "In fact, this move could lead to a combined entity that is better able to support higher levels of managed services, SaaS-based solutions, and cloud computing alternatives." The complete Forrester report can be found on GXS's Web site, here.

While the two biggest vendors will combine, Freeney and Vollmer say competition will remain stiff involving the rest of the field, including Axway, Crossgate, Descartes, Easylink, EXTOL, HubSpannubridges, Seeburger, and SPS Commerce.


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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
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