March 10, 1997 1:45 PM ET
Nets Inc., PSDI forge E-commerce alliance
By Maria Seminerio

  Nets Inc., the electronic commerce startup led by former Lotus Development Corp. CEO Jim Manzi, and PSDI Inc. today announced they will develop an online storefront to sell MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) supplies to manufacturers.

The partnership is aimed at helping Nets Inc. extend its online marketplace for industrial goods and services into the MRO space, which the company sees as critical to the adoption of E-commerce across other industries, Manzi said during a press conference this morning.

"Ninety percent of our time, resources and money this year are going toward the MRO marketplace," said Manzi, the chairman of Nets Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.

He described PSDI, also of Cambridge, as leading the pack of MRO software developers and called the partnership "a perfect buy-side and sell-side relationship."

The companies will provide a link from PSDI's Maximo maintenance management software to, giving PSDI customers an automated buying and selling channel that will reduce the time and cost of procuring MRO supplies, said Chip Drapeau, executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at PSDI.

The Maximo software, now used by more than 4,000 companies worldwide, manages procurement of MRO supplies, while Nets Inc. provides a transaction-ready back end, Drapeau said.

"By teaming with Nets Inc., PSDI is delivering on its plan to bring industrial suppliers to the desktops of Maximo users," Drapeau said.

The partnership also will allow users to link electronic catalogs to the Maximo knowledge base and to perform vendor searches on directly from the Maximo desktop.

Product maintenance histories, safety information and equipment diagrams also will be available to Maximo users via under the terms of the deal, providing quicker and cheaper access to such documents, officials said.

The companies are also at work on an "end-to-end" online commercial platform, targeted at the manufacturing industry, which is set to roll out by the end of the year. That will be the first step toward providing solutions for other industries, Manzi said.

"As we're doing this, we're trying to lay down a platform that can be extended beyond the MRO space, but that's beyond the time frame of this quarter or the next quarter or even the end of the year," he said.

PSDI is at Nets Inc. can be reached at

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