Introduction

ElectronicTender® is a ‘software products and services’ company specialized in developing and supporting high-security software products for ‘e-Procurement and e-Auction’. The prime focus is on secure and transparent processes as required for Government and Public-Sector organizations, and corporate entities committed to high standards of corporate governance.





Background of E-Procurement for Government

e-procurement is gradually emerging as the desired method of doing procurement by Government organizations in various countries. Typically, 10% to 20% of a country’s GDP can be attributed to Public Procurement (Source: The World Bank). The value of Government procurement globally is of the order of trillions of US dollars. The World Bank and other international bodies have been advocating e-procurement/ e-tendering/ ebidding for over 16 years now to enhance transparency and efficiency in public procurement. The emerging market-size and potential for internet-based software & services for publicprocurement is therefore huge. While a number of initiatives have taken place globally in the area of e-procurement, their focus has been primarily on e-Marketplaces, e-Catalogue Purchasing, Reverse-Auction and its adaptations. Government tendering or bid-invitation process has peculiar characteristics, with requirements of ‘transparency and security’, which can be addressed only by software designed especially for this purpose.

However, based on available information, most of these eprocurement initiatives offer 'limited functionality’, and ‘do not comprehensively address the requirements of security and transparency’ for public-procurement. The current sites for Government tendering are either merely Tender-Notice sites (e- Publishing sites), or are doing bidding with ‘rudimentary and restricted’ features, without appropriate security and transparency. Furthermore, many of these initiatives have come up in response to some specific Government project and therefore cannot be readily supplanted/ deployed in other organizations and countries.

ElectronicTender's Product Focus & Distinctiveness

In contradistinction to the scenario outlined above, ElectronicTender® has developed an e-procurement software product which is almost a benchmark for secure and transparent e-procurement for the rest of the world. Importantly, its framework is versatile enough for it to be readily deployed in any country. For the core tendering processes, customization requirements should be 'Nil'. No doubt for a language other than English, some customization will be required. Other areas of customization could encompass -- integration with local payment-gateway(s), backend ERP or Government financial systems.

Intensive R&D effort spread over 16 calendar years has gone into the product development. Every nuance of the well established manual ‘sealed-bid public procurement process with multiple bidding methodologies’, which has legal & transparency related significance, has been addressed in the software in the most comprehensive and secure manner.

Integrated with the core ‘sealed-bid tendering engine’, additional functionality is available for -- e-SecureAuction® (comprising of e- ReverseAuction™ and e-ForwardAuction®), and e-SecureCatalog based purchase. Some salient aspects of ElectronicTender's eprocurement software product are outlined below:

  • Comprehensively addresses almost every nuance of the formal public-procurement process (multi-stage, multi-envelope sealed bidding, online public tender opening event, et al), having ‘Legal’, ‘Security’ and ‘Transparency’ related significance
  • Offers added functionality of e-ReverseAuction, e- ForwardAuction, and e-Catalog Purchase, integrated with the core sealed-bid e-procurement system
  • Is available as a licensable software product, and can be deployed in any country within hours, without need for years of customization/ development
  • Has unmatched ‘Security’ and ‘Transparency’ related features compared to any other e-procurement initiative anywhere in the world (Immune to breach of bid-confidentiality, even with clandestine spyware on the portal/ server)
  • Has been extensively tested. Reputable Government organizations in India [such as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), National Hydro Power Corp. (NHPC), Power Grid Corporation (PGCIL), Power Finance Corporation (PFC), et al] have used the software, and experienced its distinctiveness
  • The level of customer confidence is indicated by some ‘highvalue’ and ‘high-profile’ tenders/ auctions conducted on systems based on ElectronicTender’s software. In some cases, seamless combination of electronically sealed-bid methodology and electronic reverse-auction has been used.

ElectronicTender has the potential to revolutionize the way formal tendering is done worldwide by various Government organizations, Multi-lateral Agencies and professional Corporate organizations.

Product Testing/ Certification

Electronic-Tendering Engine® (ETE) has undergone extensive independent testing, including testing by VeriTest, a reputed international testing agency, and intensive security testing encompassing guidelines of – CERT-In, OWASP, ‘SANS Institute’s Top 20 – 2007/ FBI 20 Security Risk’, ‘Security Testing under Stress of 1000 Simulated Users’. As on date, ETE is the only e-tendering product in the world listed on ‘Microsoft Windows Server Catalog of Tested Products’. On 31st August 2011, the Government of India issued a very ‘comprehensive set of guidelines on e-procurement through the Department of Information Technology (DIT), now called Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). Furthermore, the Government of India mandated that its testing agency STQC audit/ certify all e-procurement solutions and systems being used in the country for compliance with the DeitY-Guidelines. On 18th January 2013, ElectronicTender became the FIRST organization to succeed in getting its e-procurement solution certified by STQC.

Modes of Licensing

ETE has been developed as a licensable software product. Broadly, licensing can be done in two modes – directly to Buyer organizations who wish to set up captive portals for e-procurement, and to Application Service Providers (ASPs) who in turn would facilitate eprocurement for a large user base of Buyer organizations in a specified territory, and a global base of Supplier organizations. Business-Development/ Licensing is done through Marketing- Partners and Value-Added-Resellers of ElectronicTender®.