Covisint sells 500 seats for Web workspace in 6 months

Covisint LLC has sold subscriptions for 500 seats on its Virtual Project Workspace during the first half of this year.

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Automakers and suppliers are using the Web-based tool designed for product collaboration and electronic sourcing, said Bob Matulka, Covisint's lead for collaborative product development.

"All the major OEMs and a good portion of our top 40 suppliers are using it," Matulka said Tuesday during an interview at the Management Briefing Seminars.

Users pay a monthly fee per seat. The fee is based on the number of features they want to use.

"It's like cable TV, we have a variety of packages," Matulka said.

Covisint observers say 500 seats sold is a good start for the Virtual Project Workspace.

"Subscriptions will continue to grow as Covisint adds more products to the workspace," predicts John Waraniak, director of e-business speed at Johnson Controls Inc. "You can consider 500 as just a good start for them."

Covisint would not reveal the subscription rate per seat. But a spokesman said that Kevin English, Covisint's CEO, plans to publish a full schedule of rates for all of Covisint's online tools.

One feature of the Virtual Project Workspace allows users to view and make changes to two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer-aided design drawings. But so far, suppliers and automakers are mostly using the workspace's sourcing functions, such as electronic request for quotes.

Matulka believes that the smallest suppliers, for example, those with 10 to 20 people, will derive the most benefit from using Covisint.

"It takes quite an investment to set up these kinds of IT tools by themselves," Matulka said. "By using a public exchange such as Covisint, these suppliers won't have to carry their own IT staff."

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