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GXS and Inovis to Merge – And Change the B2B Landscape

by Benoit Lheureux  |  December 8, 2009  |  6 Comments

This morning GXS and Inovis announced that they will merge.

My colleagues and I will respond to our clients with our detailed analysis of this event soon (and in 5 minutes I’m rushing off to breakfast with some of the GXS and Inovis folks to learn more), but after covering the B2B integration market segment for ten years I can say from the top of my head that this merger is, stated simply, a game-changer.

Between this event, and SPS Commerce’ recent filing of an IPO, the B2B market segment has changed, permanently. The other vendors will need to re-assess their role in this evolving IT landscape has just begun. IT users of B2B services will need to re-assess their perceptions of which vendors will be most likely to succeed.

After years of decline and painful, systemic redefining and rebuilding of fundamental business models around delivering B2B services following the dot com market collapse and associated impact on the B2B market overall, these events mark the beginning of a major shift towards vendor landscape consolidation and fight to the finish.

There’s more to come — I’ll be here monitoring and publishing on these events, and helping our clients sort through the confusion.


– bjl

DECEMBER 16TH UPDATE: My formal position on the GXS / Inovis merger is now available

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Benoit J. Lheureux
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
31 years IT industry

Benoit Lheureux is a research VP in Gartner Research and agenda manager for the Application Infrastructure group. He focuses on three areas: application integration, middleware and B2B e-commerce, with the emphasis on the latter. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on GXS and Inovis to Merge – And Change the B2B Landscape

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ehuddleston and Pradheep Sampath, Benoit Lheureux. Benoit Lheureux said: Detailed analysis still to come, but the short of it? It's a a game-changer — GXS and Inovis to merge […]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by BLheureux: Detailed analysis still to come, but the short of it? It’s a a game-changer — GXS and Inovis to merge

  3. That there will be inevitable consolidation in an otherwise moribund industry is by no means a unique revelation, nor was a merger of some of the industry leviathans unpredicted.

    Game changer? Let’s call it significant news and hope for the best, that the combined entities do not abuse their power, particularly in regards to interconnections and the pass through routing of EDI traffic.

    My opinion is that of an analyst working for one of the more specialized, pure-play, e-commerce communications providers; we started our adaptation at least two years ago, by modernizing our architecture and adding a powerful web services APIs that anyone can use to power their EDI communications.

    Real power brokering in B2B commerce and systems is migrating towards the platform hosted hubs, SAAS, B2B PAAS, and vertical industry trade exchanges.

    This is an important merger, not so much for what it is, but for what it is not. It is not the end of the world for buyers of VAN services, it not the end of Innovation, (although I’ve been waiting for any technologically notable news from either of these companies for years).

    The future belongs to the Cloud, SAAS, PAAS, SOA, ESB, Hubs, Expansive APIs, and open collegial interoperability agreements between non-settlement peer networks.

    Open Open Open. Demand Open.

    Those wishing to further analyze are welcome to drop me a line, and I thank the host analyst for his continued monitoring of this important event, and hope the ongoing reportage will reflect an unbiased, industry advocacy scope.

  4. Arnoldob says:

    Having worked for several major players in the EDI/VAN/B2B world I would note that naysayers have been predicting it’s imminent demise since the 90s. The “next great thing” is always about to kill it but never does. We manage to stay around because most shops don’t have the time, energy or expertise to do what we do. It’s a value proposition, can you do it for less in house? Do you have the time?

    Most have other things (like their core business) they want to focus on. I remain optimistic we’ll be around in some form or another. Perhaps not in the old VAN model, but things change in the tech world, that’s what makes it interesting. We adapt and change like every other business out there.

    The merger is interesting, we’ll see how it shakes out in the long term.

  5. […] I had research inquiries on the B2B market segment (e.g., about recent B2B events including B2B mergers and IPO filings) with three Gartner clients representing VC’s and […]

  6. […] GXS acquisition of Inovis in December — see my post and published research on […]

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