Despite today’s draconian efforts to cut company costs, one area typically remains out of control: off-purchase order spending. Rearden Commerce’s deal last week with American Express could change that.
Two years ago, Rearden Commerce launched a service dubbed EBS (Employee Business Services) to address the problem. EBS enabled individuals to book air travel, hotels, and rental cars and to pay for meals, entertainment, teleconferencing, and shipping via a browser-based application. Even better, the application forced employees to adhere to preferred suppliers.
Now, after two years of negotiating, Rearden and American Express inked a deal for a private-label version of EBS: The American Express Intelligent Online Marketplace.
Andy McGraw, senior vice president and general manager of American Express business travel, cited the platform’s impressive SOA-based technology, supplier network, and user experience as reasons for the partnership. The clincher, according to McGraw, was that Rearden goes way beyond air, hotel, and car arrangements in its travel and entertainment management, addressing the estimated 49 percent of spending that goes “unmanaged.”
American Express will take a minority equity stake in Rearden and will occupy a seat on the board, McGraw said.