The Everest system is rooted in Ford Motor Co.s earliest stab at using the Internet for global purchasing: an online system called the Ford AutoXchange.
Ford negotiated an agreement in 1999 with software vendor Oracle Corp. to form AutoXchange. It was to be an Internet purchasing bazaar where buyers and sellers could come together for auctions and other transactions.
Oracle first posed the concept to Fords crosstown rival General Motors. But GM wanted an ownership stake in Oracle, says an executive familiar with the deal.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison declined GMs overture, and Oracle then pitched the idea to then-Ford CEO Jacques Nasser.
Nasser liked what he heard.
As Ford and Oracle developed AutoXchange, GM partnered with Commerce One Inc. to create a similar virtual marketplace for parts. GM called it the TradeXchange.
Each automaker wanted to capitalize on Web-based purchasing, from auctions to requisitions to purchase orders.
As the two purchasing sites were being developed, GM and Ford, driven mostly by former GM purchasing czar Harold Kutner, decided to join forces and create a grand industry marketplace. The two automakers persuaded DaimlerChrysler AG to join them.
On Feb. 25, 2000, the three announced that they would build an exchange.
They called it Newco. Newco became Covisint.
Covisint was born with a promise of a single platform for the thousands of suppliers working with the Big 3 and other automakers who signed on to Covisint.
But as Covisint developed, Ford decided that it wanted control of its own global Web-based purchasing system.
Ford suppliers would enter through the Covisint portal but would be routed into Fords internal Everest system.
Fords creation of Everest was a blow to Covisint, which wanted automakers and suppliers to use its Commerce One technology platform for all purchasing. It was one key reason Covisint never became a global powerhouse in the industry.