I found this press release dated from the 8th of January and about Alibaba on Digital Media Asia. Here is an excerpt:
Alibaba, an e-commerce company in China, has launched Alisoft, an online business software provider to be established as a new company serving small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in China. Alisoft will initially target the 18 million SME users of Alibaba.com’s services. Alisoft will focus on providing easy solutions for customers to integrate e-commerce with their back-end systems.
Alisoft is currently offering five different on-demand applications: Customer relationship management (CRM); Inventory management; Sales force management; Financial tools; and Marketing information management. Its business software services come in three editions: global trade, domestic China trade and individual (C2C) trade.
Another and complementary press release is available at PRnewswire.com. It is only in November 2006 that Alibaba launched its CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System version 1.2 and I am damn curious if Alibaba will somedays venture the e-Sourcing and e-Procurement market. Any clue someone?.
On Alisoft web-pages, you’ll find the 4 basic steps of doing e-commerce in Alibaba: finding business opportunity, connecting with a trading partner, tracking the business flow, and evaluating the performance of a vendor. Let me remind you that Alibaba, the worldwide leading combined B2B-C2C e-commerce portal, is China’s answer to eBay and, talking about Supplier Network, is worth having in mind compared, for example, to Ariba supplier network counting 140.000 companies registered (i.e. max one million users I guess). True: Alibaba is more SME oriented while Ariba is more middle-sized company focused.
Merging the 2 offering looks quite compelling don’t you think?