B2B e-commerce provider GXS announced that it had acquired supplier information and community management technology provider RollStream. Specific financial information regarding the transaction was not made available. An FAQ document on the GXS site notes that this acquisition advances GXS’s strategy to speed and simplify the integration of global business communities.

This acquisition comes as no surprise, at least to this author, since RollStream was a technology vendor with a lot of upside opportunity.

Supply Chain Matters previously commented on our impressions of RollStream back in June.  We were favorably impressed with the business approach, user interfaces and breadth of information management functionality. We were especially impressed with the social media based design aspects of RollStream’s Community Platform.  This provider has a marquee customer base of customers in healthcare distribution, grocery and manufacturing related supply chains. A noted drawback was that the RollStream platform per se lacked transactional or value-stream planning capabilities, but this acquisition is an obvious response to that drawback.  Both companies stand to gain from this event, since the GXS EDI and transactional platform now has the opportunity to leverage RollStream’s social and supplier collaboration platform.

While some would question the definition or value of social supply chain concepts and technology, we believe that this area will prove to be more important over the long-term.

If you desire to gain further understanding of social supply chain potential, you are welcomed to view an on-demand thought leaders webcast previously delivered by Lora Cecere, Altimeter Group, and myself that explored both the front-end demand and supply concepts of social supply chain.

Supply Chain Matters will have further, more in-depth commentary regarding the implications of this acquisition after we have had the opportunity to secure a further briefing from both parties.

Bob Ferrari