Stories by Ellen Messmer

ASP Targets Online Sales

Startup CrossCommerce this week makes its debut with a hosted application service that lets Web site operators display and sell any of about eight million items, including computers, clothes, flowers or books.

Firm Makes Bold B2B Play

US Office Products Co. (USOP), which racked up $3.2 billion last year through direct sales to businesses using its print catalog, is aggressively pushing into e-commerce to fend off dot-com upstarts and traditional rivals.

Open Market to Debut E-comm Tools

Open Market Inc. Monday is expected to unveil a suite of electronic catalog and content management application tools for creating online marketing campaigns and personalizing information presentation.

Lands' End Builds Custom Web Sites

Known primarily for consumer sales of apparel through its print catalog and the Web, billion-dollar retailer Lands' End Inc. is pursuing an aggressive strategy to boost sales to businesses by letting them order merchandise online from customized Web pages.

Vendor i2 Technologies Gains New Links

Supply-chain software vendor i2 Technologies Inc. last week announced a merger with Aspect Development and the purchase of Supplybase, thereby locking up a pair of software specialists for negotiating with suppliers online. I2's goal is to challenge Oracle Corp., SAP AG and Manugistics in this area of e-commerce.

TransScape Ships Conquest for E-Fulfillment

TransScape, a division of Pitney Bowes Inc., this week began shipping Conquest, server software to manage order fulfillment and shipping in a business-to-business environment.

Sterling Mixes EDI, Web Documents

Although its roots are in the electronic data interchange realm, Sterling Commerce Inc. next month will ship Web-based purchase orders, invoices and other business documents that can be swapped between suppliers and buyers online.

SAS Unveils Web Analysis Tools

SAS Institute Inc. has introduced its first out-of-the-box programs for analyzing Web site e-commerce activity, including buying and usage trends.

E-mail Software Aims to Bolster Customer Service

Talisma Corp. has begun shipping the second version of its customer-relationship e-mail management software, a package that can help corporations conduct and analyze e-mail correspondence with online customers - a form of correspondence often called "closed loop e-mail."

GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler Team on B2B Exchange

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. today abandoned their attempt to create separate, competing online business-to-business trade exchanges and instead announced they would work together on a shared auto-industry exchange.

Fla. School District Gives Data Mining High Marks

A lot of companies use data-mining to comb through databases to figure out which of their products sells best and where. Now a public school district is using equally sophisticated technology to analyze student performance.

B2B Web Sites Not Living Up to Hype Yet

If you believe the hype, every company but your own is on the Internet buying and selling at one of those business-to-business trading exchanges for industries such as health care, paper and steel. But the reality is that most of these Net market-maker sites have almost no transaction volume.

SAP Adds Oomph to Data Warehouse Tool

New data warehouse software introduced by Server Advertisement Protocol last week should help companies make better use of data in their SAP America Inc. enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for handling e-commerce and other transaction-oriented applications.