Westpac Group, a large Australian banking company, has licensed electronic procurement software from Intelisys, a software developer 30%-owned by Chase Manhattan Corp.
Westpac, which has 330,000 small- and midsize-business customers in Australia, New Zealand, and Asian-Pacific markets, has also invested $26.1 million in Intelisys Australasia, a start-up subsidiary of the New York-based software company.
Intelisys software helps corporations make electronic connections to their suppliers. More than a dozen corporations use it for procurement. If a supplier lacks an Internet purchasing catalogue, Intelisys helps it create one.
So far the Intelisys system has been extended to more than 300 suppliers. Robert Kramer, the vice president of corporate development and strategy at Intelisys, said his company does little business in Asia. But Westpac's investment, plus strategic partnerships with other resellers operating in Asia, such as Motorola - also an Intelisys customer - would help Intelisys develop an Asian presence quickly, he said.
"Westpac liked what it saw," Mr. Kramer said. "We are becoming the banker's choice."
The Australian banking company joins some big names in selecting Intelisys software for online procurement. Chase is a customer, as are First Union Corp., Union Planters Corp., and J.P. Morgan & Co. These companies - except for J.P. Morgan - use the software to build Internet marketplaces for business-to-business sales. Morgan uses the software only for internal procurement.
Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., and Wells Fargo & Co. have created similar alliances with electronic commerce vendors such as Ariba Inc. and Commerce One Inc. to develop bank-branded commercial exchanges on the Internet on behalf of their corporate customers.