BOSTON - FleetBoston Financial Corp. has formed an alliance with Ariba Inc. to offer online procurement to its clients and employees.

Ariba, of Mountain View, Calif., will provide a platform for Fleet to buy and sell supplies online in the next few months. Later in the year, the platform is to be offered to Fleet's middle-market and small-business clients.

"This alliance will allow us to streamline our own procurement process and to pass on efficiencies and cost savings to our partners," said Michael J. Curran, managing director of Fleet Global Services.

Ariba will work with Fleet's Global Services and Internet Strategies groups to build the customized platform.

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