Boston-based John Hancock Financial Services Inc. was an early adopter of e-procurement and e-sourcing technologies.In 1998, the company implemented an e-procurement solution from iPlanet, which was acquired in 2002 by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun Microsystems Inc. Then, in 2001, John Hancock deployed e-sourcing software from Frictionless Commerce Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

These initiatives, which originated with the insurer's need to cut costs prior to its IPO in January 2000, have decreased the company's price for goods and services by an estimated 5% to 20%, according to Aberdeen Group Inc., a Boston-based research and advisory firm.

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