KEN_VOLLMER (300dpi)The recent announcement by GXS and Inovis of their intent to merge will not result in a significant realignment of the B2B service provider space, but it will make the largest provider evener bigger when the current largest provider (GXS) combines with the fourth largest provider (Inovis).

What will each vendor gain from the merger? For GXS, the initial answer is new customers. Even factoring in existing customer overlap, GXS stands to gain an additional 10,000 or more new customers. Beyond that, GXS will now be able to provide its customers with access to the extensive retail expertise that Inovis obtained via its acquisition of QRS several years ago. In particular, the Inovis Catalogue has been instrumental in helping many organizations with their retail data synchronization needs. GXS also gains the expertise of Inovis’ experienced and proven development team.

The advantages for Inovis are twofold. First, GXS offers unsurpassed global reach with major operations in European, Asia Pacific, and South American regions. Second, Inovis will go from being the fourth-largest provider (as measured by the number of supported transactions) to being part of the largest B2B provider in the world. The additional resources this merger will provide will enable Inovis to bring new managed services, SaaS-based solutions, and cloud-based alternatives to market faster.

While this appears to be a win-win for the two vendors involved, don't expect either one to exert undo dominance in the B2B space any time soon. There are too many competitors to expect that to happen.

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