Meta navigation

Press release

Conextrade - key Swisscom initiative in B2B e-commerce

15 June 2000

A dramatic increase in the importance of purchasing via the Internet: Swisscom"s Conextrade is set to become Switzerland"s largest business-to-business marketplace, which will be based on a Commerce One product and operated by Conextrade. We have also teamed up with other strategic partners, including the Swiss Post, Andersen Consulting, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, Econis, Xmedia, Gastrogate and the Karl Steiner Holding for various other projects.

Along with materials management and logistics, purchasing has become a key success and cost factor for many companies. Online marketplaces enable purchasers and suppliers to make fast, secure transactions via the Internet. They enable the purchasing process to be optimised and, at the same time, allow costs to be reduced. Connecting to the Conextrade electronic marketplace will become a key success factor for large-scale enterprises and SMEs alike.

Swisscom is set to invest at least CHF 10 million in the year 2000

Conextrade is of enormous strategic importance to Swisscom, as the electronic marketplace is a fundamental pillar in the business-to-business e-commerce growth market and should generate substantial value for Swisscom in future. This is why Swisscom will make a two-digit million swiss francs investment in Conextrade in the year 2000 and is pursuing ambitious growth targets with respect to marketplace users, revenues, available services, and new partnerships, for example with financial services and joint ventures with other marketplaces. Revenues from Conextrade, which should reach at least CHF 10 million in the year 2001, will come from software licence fees and charges for services, subscriptions and transactions. The team led by Thomas Kern, head of Conextrade, already consists of over 40 well qualified employees.

Substantial cost savings - Swisscom to handle purchasing volumes of billions of Swiss francs

Conextrade focuses on speed of implementation, a network of top-quality partnerships and offers access from Switzerland to Commerce One´s global trading web. This ensures efficient trading between companies in Switzerland, Europe and all continents.

Conextrade began its activities with transactions of indirect goods such as office equipment and personal computers, which are ideally suited to electronic purchasing. The benefits of eProcurement for the buyer are a reduction in actual costs of products and services of up to 15 percent, and up to a reduction of 90 percent in processing costs. Storage costs will be reduced significantly and turnaround time will be cut by up to 70%. Besides cost and process optimisation, the supplier of indirect goods also stands to benefit from having access to all purchasers that are linked up to the global trading web. Swisscom anticipates that by next year it will handle the purchasing of indirect goods with annual volumes of around CHF 200 million via Conextrade, and in the medium-term total annual procurement volumes of several billion Swiss francs.

Vertical portal - open marketplace

The service will be made available to the operators of vertical portals by means of Market Maker Services. Conextrade provides services such as the operation and hosting of portals, supplier connection, catalogue content management, administrative services, customer service, eProcurement platform, the business services framework and support with the integration of portal providers.

The seamless linking of Conextrade´s eBusiness services, which are based on XML-technology, ensure direct access to the marketplace for EDI users too. Not only does this open solution protect investment, it also opens the door to a potential 600 suppliers, in addition to the 70 that will be connected to the marketplace.The partnership between CommerceOne and SAP will enable the buy/sell eProcurement solution jointly developed by SAP and CommerceOne to de directly linked and integrated into Conextrade in future. Conextrade wil be a preferred hosting partner and business services provider for the new partnership.

New partnerships in the field of vertical portals

Bon appétit Group and Swisscom are planning to set up an independent company with the objective of launching a first portal for gastronomy and hotel trade. will provide a B2B marketplace for 45,000 companies (hotels, restaurants, community services, hospitals etc.). The services provided will contribute significantly towards making offers and operational processes more efficient, more cost-effective and more attractive.

Karl Steiner Holding AG, together with European industrial partners and Conextrade, will launch an electronic B2B portal for the construction industry. This will support all the links of the construction value-added chain and optimise working and procurement processes. The first market services will go online in the autumn enabling, in a first step, orders to be placed, and subsequently transactions to be made via the portal within the framework of major projects.

The future of Conextrade - the Swiss Post as a strategic partner

In the course of the third quarter of 2000, Conextrade will also offer auctions. The purchasing power of SME users will be bundled by means of so-called Purchasing Clubs. These will give SMEs direct access to the marketplace. In partnership with the Swiss Post, payment, logistics and other supply-chain services will be made available via Conextrade.

The Swiss Post views its Conextrade commitment as an important part of its e-business strategy and as a move towards positioning itself as an innovative, business-oriented company. By strengthening its e-business position, the company aims to offset losses in its core business and to generate new growth and revenues. The Swiss Post will bring a high level of competence to the strategic alliance, which may involve an equity holding. In addition, the Swiss Post will bring in another leading Swiss partner, Xmedia AG, in which it has a 30 % holding, into the e-business arena.

Berne, 15 June 2000


Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern