Vortals Emerging As Business-To-Business Watershed

Business-to-business vortals will account for $5 trillion in purchases by 2002, says The Delphi Group. In fact "dot.com" success numbers -- business-to-consumer Internet -- will pale by comparison. What's are "vortals"? Internet research group Delphi defines them as: "Internet based business-to-business market communities that automate the transactions required to build a value chain." General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. already are "making significant forays into the business-to-business space, taking e-procurement to a new level by creating a vortal for all of their purchasing communities," says Delphi president Thomas Koulopoulos. "GM estimates $500 billion will flow through its vortal in just a few years' time." Companies such as Free Markets, VerticalNet, e-steel, Ariba, Tradex, and Chemdex foreshadow the importance of vertical portals, says Delphi. Their market valuations are soaring, and they're having a big impact on the business-to-business marketplace. The Delphi Group will give ongoing analysis of "vortals" on its community Web site, http://www.delphigroup.com. It further elaborates on the "vortals" concept at http://www.thevortals.com.

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