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Siemens shuts its £30m Vertacross portal

01 March, 2002

It has emerged that Siemens closed its Vertacross Internet site which it had hoped would become the meeting point and marketplace for the global automation community. The low-key closure last November came just 19 months after Siemens launched the portal at a reported cost of more than £30m.

Vertacross was intended to be a non-partisan community where visitors could gather information from a wide range of automation suppliers and order their products online. Siemens hoped that other suppliers would invest in the site, but this did not happen.

"Companies prefer setting up their own marketplaces instead of relying on cross-vendor platforms," says Johannes Feldmayer, who is charge of electronic business for Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D).

Siemens is transforming Vertacross into a private exchange where it will do business directly with its customers.

The demise of Vertacross as an open forum adds to the growing list of e-commerce failures in the automation sector. Previous casualties include SourceAlliance (set up by Rockwell in 1999) and IndustrialVortex.

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