Over the past month there have been several announcements in the E-Commerce market. These announcements range from vendor partnerships such as demandware’s Link partner community to the purchase of minority a interest in a competitor such as GSI Commerce’s deal with Intershop Communications AG, and more. However, the biggest to date is IBM’s announcement to purchase Sterling Commerce for 1.4B in cash.
Gartner is already working on a consolidated response to this event. However for the e-commerce market this is an interesting event from two points of view.
The first one is that two e-commerce Magic Quadrant vendors are consolidating into one (IBM a leader and Sterling Commerce a Challenger). Provided the deal closes without any interference, this event could signal other acquisitions of smaller e-commerce vendors by larger vendors. I believe that these acquisitions will seek to take advantage of the growing e-commerce market as organizations make investments in the web sales capabilities.
Secondarily, the e-commerce market is evolving and this evolution is well beyond those changes driven by a desire for new user experiences such as social software and mobile (more research on this coming out soon). This evolution includes much more than business-to-consumer functionality; it includes global business-to-business e-commerce with industries such as manufacturing, distribution and telecommunications seeking to improve their online self-service sales capabilities. This is where this deal will be one to watch in 2010 and beyond.
Can we see another Dot.com 2.0 with plenty of e-commerce announcements in 2010 and beyond? Yes! We still have Internet Retailer and our Gartner CRM Summit events in June. So stay tuned.