PFSWeb Inc., long known as a provider of international fulfillment technology and services, took an important step a year ago this month when it acquired CrossView, an e-commerce technology systems integrator. Then in June of this year it acquired Conexus, an e-commerce systems integrator based in the United Kingdom. These and other efforts helped bring in a surge of B2B e-commerce technology clients.
“I’m happy to announce that we’ve booked 23 new B2B projects this year through the end of Q2, primarily on the SAP Hybris platform, and we have several more B2B project opportunities in the pipeline,” CEO Mike Willoughby said in a conference call this week on the company’s Q2 financial report.
Most of those B2B clients, which he declined to name, are working with PFSweb and its CrossView and Conexus teams to deploy the SAP Hybris Commerce e-commerce technology platform from business software giant SAP SE. And PFSweb has “several more” B2B projects in the pipeline, as it seeks to push what it describes as its compelling suite of digital technology and services for manufacturers and distributors. Its full suite covers marketing and fulfillment to complement e-commerce.
But it’s not just relying on the on-premise SAP Hybris software. Willoughby said he’s also encouraged by PFSWeb’s ability to work with clients on e-commerce platforms from Magento, Oracle and Demandware. With Oracle Corp. acquiring cloud-based e-commerce and business operations software company NetSuite, and Salesforce.com Inc. acquiring cloud-based Demandware, Willoughby says he’s excited about the new opportunities these deals are likely to generate as both Oracle and Salesforce run an increasing selection of e-commerce and marketing systems in the cloud. That is, the software resides on the vendor’s web servers and client companies access it via a web browser, without having to maintain their own servers or connections to other cloud-based systems, such as social networks or providers of complementary technology.
Willoughby plans and expectations are worth watching as a window into what’s happening in the overall e-commerce market. Recent studies have pointed to increasing demand for cloud-based e-commerce. A study last fall by technology research firm Vanson Bourne on e-commerce technology plans of companies in the United States and Europe, for example, found cloud-based services the most popular, cited as a top investment area by 44% of respondents.