Global accounting firm EY has launched a blockchain-powered procurement platform that will make use of smart contract functionality.
The EY Opschain Network Procurement will allow the conversion of procurement agreements in digital smart contracts.
According to the company’s announcement the platform will allow clients to run private, end-to-end procurement activities using Ethereum’s smart contract blockchain.
Individuals can also gain access to a free- to-use beta version on the platform’s website.
Blockchain network capabilities
EY describes the solution as a means to support a network of enterprises.
The announcement cites the current difficulty experienced by global business networks to manage agreements between businesses from within individual companies enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
The system allows buyers and sellers to effectively operate as a network. The system automatically keeps track of sales volumes and expenses based on agreed terms.
Ethereum’s platform allows for cross-business processes and agreements out of individual ERP systems into a shared blockchain-based smart contract.
EY adds that the new platform takes advantage of previous experience with procurement activities which have been drastically improved by moving these processes on blockchain-based contracts. Cycle times have been compressed by over 90% and costs reduced by 40%.
EY Global Blockchain Leader Paul Brody was quoted saying that working on a public blockchain offers a number benefits for companies.
“The ability to work as a network, above the level of any single ERP system, is crucial. Doing so on a public blockchain means not having to persuade a company or supplier to join a costly, closed proprietary network.”
The benefits of a public network
The EY OpsChain Network Procurement runs on the Ethereum network and was built on the Baseline Protocol.
Companies and users will access the solution through the website and will be able to use the tools with a Web-based UI and API in order to allow interoperability with closed ERP systems.
The announcement says that using Baseline Protocol offers ‘superior security and reliability of a public network built on open source code’.
As reported by Decrypt, EY was responsible for developing the Baseline Protocol with the help of Microsoft and Consensys.
Using zero-knowledge proofs and offchain storage means that companies can set up smart contract agreements without having to store private or sensitive data on the blockchain.