IBM and supply chain software maker Trilogy have formed a global alliance to jointly market and deploy e-business and channel management solutions to companies in the financial services and automotive industries.

The IBM and Trilogy alliance will also offer financial services providers and automobile and heavy equipment manufacturers Internet-based solutions that streamline sales of complex products in industries where channel partners play a central role.

“We believe the IBM and Trilogy alliance will deliver business value far beyond the benefits of tight integration between software and hardware,” said Dan Murphy, vp of project development for life services at MassMutual Financial Group. “We believe the focus of an alliance will further strengthen the ability of IBM and Trilogy to deliver business value to their joint customers, thanks to a goal of improved technology innovation and customer service.”

IBM and Trilogy said their applications will help global financial services providers use the Internet to deliver customized products for customers as well as credential and compensation information for producers and channel partners. Trilogy solutions can be integrated across multiple product lines, including life, group life, annuities, mutual funds, and property and casualty.

For automakers and heavy machinery manufacturers, the pair will help them use the Internet to establish direct relationships with their customers and work with their dealer networks more effectively. For instance, one module of the Trilogy Automotive Retail Platform solution enables Internet-based locate-to-order services. Locate-to-order allows a dealer to find the exact vehicle of choice from existing inventory or scheduled production, resulting in faster delivery of specifically configured cars and trucks.

These enhanced electronic commerce solutions should help automakers and dealers to benefit from lowered inventory and transaction costs, more precise information on customer buying decisions and optimized vehicle production and distribution. Customers benefit from faster and more convenient services. The alliance will also offer similar Internet-based solutions to heavy equipment manufacturers.