group organized by American Express Co. and others to promote a standard for on-line business-to-business purchasing, has made the public release of its 2.0 version.

The consortium, known as OBI and managed by the larger CommerceNet consortium, said this marks its transition from test mode to full implementation. As buyers and sellers adopt the procedures, "OBI lowers overall acquisition costs, decreases time to implementation, and increases user productivity," said David Liggett, chairman of the OBI standard track and vice president of OBI member Epic Systems Inc.

The automation standard addresses high-volume, low-dollar transactions between trading partners that account for 80% of the typical organization's purchasing.

"With OBI, different business-to-business purchasing systems can finally interoperate, fulfilling a long-term goal for this community," said Bob McMahon, president of the consortium and process leadership project manager for Internet requisitioning at Ford Motor Co.

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