Provista and Unimarket Announced Today Their Partnership to Bring Wider Access to Group Purchasing Contracts for US Colleges and Universities

Annapolis, MD, December 04, 2009 --( Today, Provista -- one of the nation’s largest Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) -- and Unimarket, the global leader of collaborative eProcurement networking, announced the signing of a partnership to market and publish Provista group purchasing contracts online for colleges, universities and related consortia.

It is the perspective of the two companies that the education sector increasingly require the cost saving advantages of eProcurement as they address the need to attack college costs with leading practices, but in a budget friendly way. They also want ease of access to GPO contracts for the campus community. With Provista, they gain access to thousands of products and services through the many contracts that Novation, Provista’s supply contracting company, negotiates across its $35 billion of purchasing power. And with Unimarket, they obtain simplicity and efficiencies of a world-class, but easy to use procure-to-pay solution delivered 100% over the Web through Software-as-a-Service.

Eleanor Waddell, V.P. Sales & Marketing for Provista, remarked on the announcement. “At Provista we are always looking to create more value for our suppliers and now with Unimarket eProcurement we can increase contract compliance, automate supply chains and reduce costs.” Waddell also commented on Unimarket’s technology. “We needed a partner with an easy-to-use cloud infrastructure so that suppliers and customers need just one on-demand connection, whether selling to multiple institutions and consortiums or buying from multiple suppliers. We also needed a solution that works for suppliers large and small, and buying organizations whether technically sophisticated or not.”

Provista has more than 6,000 participating buying organizations that spend more than $5 billion each year on goods and services purchased through its contracts with world-class suppliers. This partnership benefits both buying communities and suppliers looking to increase much needed compliance in an environment traditionally fragmented and decentralized. Even customers who today have online access to Provista suppliers have issues with compliance and consistency – buyers don’t want to log in and out of many contracts before making a buying decision – they want to go to one place and see all eligible supplier contracts, do all their buying and then check out once. This next generation of eProcurement is not only available in a solution offered through Unimarket, it is what many colleges and universities now expect.

“I see Unimarket as a way for our higher education members to easily access our contracts” said Michael Schwalm, Director, Education Sales at Provista. Schwalm is excited about the benefits this partnership brings to mutual customers and reiterated, “This initiative is a win-win in terms of simplicity, campus procurement efficiencies and substantial savings for our members and suppliers.”

Scott Blackwood, CEO of Unimarket, remarked on the significance of this relationship. “In these challenging economic times, we see more of our customers seeking group pricing for hard dollar savings whether through GPO, state or local contracts. This partnership is a first for Unimarket to embrace a leading GPO,” said Blackwood. “Overall, access is just as important as price, quality and service. If Unimarket can improve the access to Provista contracts for our customers and suppliers, then it is a win-win.”

“Collaboration is about better interactions between our customers and their consortia, trading partnerships and suppliers,” says Justin Gillion, Unimarket’s Strategic Product Manager. “The aggregation and negotiation of contracts are best left to the experts like Provista, we then compliment with solutions for better access, adoption, efficiency and leading practice procure-to-pay for our customers. This is achieved with one marketplace (‘uni’market), using sophisticated segmentation and bridging for supplier contracts through leading cloud-based - 100% multi-tenant, SaaS infrastructure.”

About Provista: Provista provides group purchasing and business solutions services to help colleges and universities achieve their supply chain objectives. Through Novation, Provista’s supply contracting company, Provista provides customers with the most competitive, extensive portfolio available, over $35 billion in annual purchasing power and a powerful competitive advantage. Please visit for more information.

About Unimarket: Located in Annapolis MD, Auckland NZ and Melbourne AU, Unimarket is the global leader of collaborative eProcurement networking, providing software on demand to streamline procure-to-pay operations and achieve cost savings within and across organizations. Customers tailor user-friendly buying portals for decentralized purchasing that drives compliance to selected suppliers from the Global Supplier Network, where quote requests, supplier maintained catalogs and punch-outs are routinely accessed to locate and buy the most cost-effective goods and services – all in sync with controls within respective customer finance/ERP systems. A distinctive feature of the Unimarket solution is the ability for customers to collaborate on their common purchases, thereby increasing economies of scale and driving down unit costs. Please visit for more information.

Unimarket, Inc.
Steven Biggs