News Briefs

IBM submits XML specification for B2B transactions

IBM submits XML specification for B2B transactions

IBM has submitted a specification for defining and implementing electronic contracts to OASIS, a vendor-neutral standards body. The specification, called the Trading Partner Agreement Markup Language (tpaML), uses the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and was submitted to OASIS for standardization within its initiative.

The foundation of tpaML is the Trading Partner Agreement (TPA), which contains general contract terms and conditions, participant roles, communication and security protocols, and business processes, such as valid actions, sequencing rules, and so on. A TPA thus defines how trading partners will interact at the transport, document exchange, and business protocol layers. XML-based TPA documents capture the essential information upon which trading partners must agree in order for their applications and business processes to communicate.

ASP Applicast offers service guarantees

Application service provider (ASP) Applicast is now offering customers of its Applicast Business Applications Network service-level guarantees through a partnership with BMC Software. Applicast is a charter member of a new BMC certification program, called BMC Software OnSite, which gives Applicast-managed applications the maximum level of performance, availability and reliability.

BMC Software's Service Assurance Center, Applicast, can identify, avert, and fix potential problems before they impact customers' systems, through automated monitoring of the operating system, database, and application layers.

SAP enhances for aerospace companies

SAP AG (NYSE:SAP), the leading provider of inter-enterprise software solutions, today announced enhancements to the solution for the aerospace and defense industry. These enhancements will enable companies to collaborate with trading partners via the Internet using SPEC 2000, the industry standard for exchanging electronic business documents.

With the next update of for Aerospace & Defense in March, SAP will provide electronic-commerce applications for the buying and selling of aircraft parts based on the Air Transport Association (ATA) SPEC 2000 standard, delivered via the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Companies will benefit from dramatically lower transaction costs and expanded opportunities to collaborate with a larger number of trading partners through the Internet.

Oracle launches E-Business Network

Oracle has launched E-Business Network, the first 24x7 e-cast network accessible via the Internet. Because e-business has no geographical boundaries, programming will be multi-lingual, and content will be available not just in English but in nine languages including French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

Targeted at anyone interested in the latest e-business trends and news, from start-ups to traditional companies transforming themselves, E-Business Network will provide analysis of the latest developments in e-business as well as practical "how-to" guides for every phase of business process. Original content for E-Business Network includes live e-casts of major e-business events, e-business success stories, e-business education, high-tech culture, and programs hosted by industry luminaries.

J.D. Edwards partners with Augeo

J.D. Edwards has formed a strategic partnership with Augeo Software, a provider of professional services automation (PSA) solutions.

Under terms of this partnership, the two companies will work together to provide professional service organizations (PSOs) and IT service companies with software solutions for information management capabilities, fiscal and service delivery, and customer relationships. Augeo's Intelligent Planner software will become a component of J.D. Edwards' service supply chain management model for PSOs.

McKessonHBOC signs Presbyterian Healthcare

McKessonHBOC has signed a new, comprehensive supply management and automated solutions agreement with Albuquerque-based Presbyterian Healthcare Services, the largest not-for-profit healthcare organization in New Mexico.

Under the agreement, McKessonHBOC business units will provide pharmaceutical and medical-surgical distribution, materials management, and a complete line of automated solutions for medication administration across Presbyterian's network of acute-care settings, physician clinics, and retail pharmacies. The agreement calls for McKessonHBOC to provide Presbyterian with a full range of procurement, distribution and materials management solutions, including pharmaceutical distribution and OPTIMA and OPTIPak medical surgical distribution programs.

In addition, McKessonHBOC will institute across multiple Presbyterian sites its SupplyNET program, which identifies cost-savings opportunities to improve medical surgical supply usage efficiencies, and its coSource Supply Management Program, which is designed to integrate pharmaceutical distribution services, automated technologies, and information systems to deliver the lowest total patient cost available.

NCR, Gentia to deliver balanced scorecard

Gentia Software and NCR have partnered to deliver Balanced Scorecard solutions to customer relationship management (CRM) and data warehousing (DW) customers. This global agreement enables NCR to use Gentia's market leading Balanced Scorecard application to provide a strategic management environment for its Teradata based CRM solutions. The initial focus of joint activities will primarily be in Europe.

A Balanced Scorecard gives decision-makers across organizations a complete view of performance as well as a framework to ensure that operational resources are aligned with strategic direction. Under the terms of the agreement, NCR can provide its customers the ability to leverage the Balanced Scorecard for effective implementation of their CRM strategies.

Speech recognition applications target B2B software

Locus Dialogue wants to expand the use of its speech recognition technologies to the business-to-business software market.

The Locus Dialogue SpeechFoundry team is now developing business-to-business software products through partnerships with workgroup software vendors and system integrators. These new applications are based on development languages including the emerging VoiceXML standard. This development environment leverages the Locus Dialogue SpeechPortal platform.

Sybase open door to e-portal partners

Sybase has launched the e-Portal Alliance, a new program designed to align application solution partners within Sybase's Enterprise Portal (EP) strategy. The e-Portal Alliance allows partners to combine complementary technologies with the Sybase enterprise portal product, code-named Sybase OpenDoor, to create customer-centric e-business solutions.

Sybase OpenDoor includes 24x7 capabilities, built-in support for portal systems management, superior mainframe integration with Customer Information Control systems (CICS) and Information Management Systems (IMS), XML support for major data sources, load balancing, cluster support and a security framework for single sign-on. In addition, Sybase OpenDoor allows seamless, personalized integration to real-time business events, ERP applications, and native connectivity for major industry relational database management systems (RDBMS).

Among the first partners to join the Sybase e-Portal Alliance are Rubric, YOUcentric, Inc. and BroadQuest, offering e-CRM solutions; Viador., Plumtree Software, and SageMaker all of whom offer enterprise information solutions;,, and with e-content solutions; and Niku Extensity and Knowledge Mechanics with e-corporate business solutions.

HR-XML consortium expands membership

The HR-XML Consortium has disclosed that 45 organizations have joined the Consortium, formed for the purpose of creating and promoting standardized, HR-specific XML vocabularies. Industry-standard XML vocabularies provide the means for a company to transact business electronically with many other companies without having to establish, engineer and implement many separate interchange mechanisms. The Consortium is targeting recruiting, staffing, and employee benefits as the first areas for the development of XML specifications.

Participating Organizations Include: The Aetna Foundation., AppliedTheory Authoria,., Best Software, CareerBuilder,, CDI Corp./MRI, Concur Technologies, Covanta Solutions, Crestone International, Digital Discoveries,, Employease,, Evolve Software, Hewitt Associates,, IBM, Interactive Search, Icarian International Association for Human Resource Information Management, Interim Services.,,, Lawson Software, Liquid Software, Main Sequence Technologies, Modis Professional Services, Inc.,, Opus360 Oracle, PeopleSoft, Personic, Resumix, Robert Half International Inc., SAP, Simpata, Inc.,,,, Towers Perrin, Ultimate Software, Vivant! Corp., Volt Services Group, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Webhire and WorkLife Solutions.

Baan posts Q4 loss

As expected, the Baan Co. reported a loss for the fourth quarter of 1999. Revenues for the fourth quarter 1999 increased 9% to $143 million, compared to $131 million in the fourth quarter 1998. The net loss for the fourth quarter 1999 was ($236) million, or ($1.06) per diluted share, compared to a net loss of ($295) million, or ($1.45) per diluted share, reported in the fourth quarter 1998. The overall results were in line with the preliminary estimates reported on January 4, 2000.

Epicor reports Q4, end of 1999 results

Epicor Software reported that revenues for the fourth quarter 1999 were $62.7 million, and for the year ended Dec. 31, 1999, revenues totaled $258.2 million.

For the fourth quarter, the company posted a net loss of $41.6 million or $1.02 per share, including write-downs related to the impairment of certain intangible assets and charges attributable to the reorganization. For the year, net loss including charges was $48.8 million or $1.20 per share.

Clarus Q4 revenues hit $5.4 million

Clarus announced record financial results from its e-commerce business for the quarter ended December 31, 1999. Pro forma fourth quarter e-commerce revenues totaled $5.4 million, compared with $73,000 for the corresponding quarter in 1998.

Compared with third quarter 1999 e-commerce revenues of $2.0 million, fourth quarter revenues increased 170 percent, or $3.4 million. Clarus' pro forma net loss from e-commerce for the quarter, excluding the amortization of stock-based compensation, was $5.4 million, or a loss of $0.47 per share. After including the stock-based compensation expense, the net loss for the fourth quarter of 1999 was $7.3 million, or $0.64 per share.

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