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Staples Partners With Ariba to Expand E-Commerce Benefits to Customers; Office-Products Leader Becomes Ariba Client and Cornerstone Supplier
WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 8, 1999--Staples, Inc., today announced that its Contract and Commercial unit, which serves mid-size-to-Fortune-50 companies, will work with Ariba Technologies, Inc. to deliver expanded e-commerce solutions to buying organizations.

Ariba, whose innovative electronic procurement systems are delivering dramatic savings to major national and international corporations, has named Staples the first "Cornerstone Supplier" in the new Ariba Supplier Link(TM) (ASL(TM)). ASL is a major strategic initiative to integrate supplier content with Ariba's Operating Resource Management System(TM) (ORMS(TM)).

Cornerstone status gives Staples, an industry leader in office supplies and services, a unique opportunity to build its share of Ariba's growing customer base. Staples, which has developed several sophisticated electronic ordering options for its own corporate customers, will have significant input into Ariba's e-commerce framework, and its catalogs will become part of Ariba's software package. Staples will enjoy premier sponsorship opportunities at Ariba advisory councils and supplier summits, and the two companies will engage in joint marketing activities.

Staples has also entered into a client agreement with Ariba and will implement ORMS internally. "We liked Ariba's system so much that we bought it for our own people to use," said Bob Mayerson, senior vice president and corporate controller. "Their e-commerce solution will help us streamline many of our procurement-related processes and reduce the costs and hassles of running our own business."

Ariba initiated the operating resource management concept, in which enterprise-class e-commerce software automates the purchase of a broad range of non-production goods and services. The system allows end users to access pre-negotiated catalogs from different suppliers through one comprehensive application. Employees of Ariba clients, including industry giants such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Chevron, Cisco Systems and Citizens Communications as well as the State of California, can purchase all the goods and services they need to do their jobs through their desktop PCs.

Ariba clients have an aggregate operating-resource spend of more than $45 billion annually. ASL provides them with packaged access to vast quantities of commodity and industry-specific content -- ranging from industrial and laboratory supplies to office and maintenance items -- via open Internet standards supported by Ariba ORMS. Reducing the time and cost of managing their own supplier content can save such organizations up to $60 million per year, Ariba estimates.

"Staples is a leader in its field," said Ariba president and CEO Keith Krach. "Their tremendous buying power and demonstrated commitment to service offer obvious advantages to our customers. And their e-commerce expertise will help us define technology solutions that enable both suppliers and buying organizations to more easily do business over the Internet."

Joseph G. Doody, president of Staples Contract and Commercial Division, believes the two companies are well matched. "We serve the same customer base and we have essentially the same goal - to increase the efficiency of the procurement process. Freeing purchasing professionals from routine transaction-processing tasks so that they can concentrate on value-added activities is an important element of that goal," he said. "We admire Ariba's unique solutions, and anticipate taking full advantage of their electronic entree to millions of corporate buyers worldwide."

ABOUT STAPLES

Staples, Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture, and technology to consumers and businesses from those based at home to Fortune 50 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has more than 37,000 employees serving customers through more than 900 office superstores, mail order catalogs and contract business. Additional information can be found at www.staples.com.

ABOUT ARIBA

Ariba is the leader in enterprise-wide Operating Resource Management solutions for Global 2000 and mid-sized corporations. The company's buy-side e-commerce products deliver a high return on investment by improving the acquisition and management of operating resources, the goods and services required to operate a company. Ariba's comprehensive ORM solution leverages the Internet, corporate intranets and an advanced network application architecture to efficiently connect requestors to approvers, buyers to suppliers, and the Ariba system to other enterprise applications. Ariba and its strategic partners offer consulting and implementation services, training, and technical support that enable rapid deployment of scalable, flexible, enterprise-wide Operating Resource Management solutions. More information can be found at www.ariba.com.


     CONTACT: Staples Contact:                Ariba Contact: 
              Kathy Montal                    C. J. Glynn
              Public Relations Coordinator    Mgr. Corp.Marketing
              508/370-7895                    408/543-3800
              kathy.montal@Staples.com        CJGlynn@ariba.com