NeoCore and X-Aware make XML even better
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<br> As e-commerce becomes more prevalent, XML, or extensible markup language, is replacing HTML, once the Internet’s dominant coding language, on business-to-business sites. With HTML (hyper-text markup language), data is defined using tags, or metadata. The drawback is that there are a fixed number of tags, limiting what the user can do. XML also uses tags, but its beauty is that the user can define an unlimited number of tags as needed. Therein, however, also lies its main shortcoming.
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<br> With so many tags, XML can become quite unwieldy, hampering the flexibility it was developed to provide. Colorado Springs-based NeoCore LLC is hoping that its XML Commerce Server will take away much of this clunkiness, giving XML back the range for which it was intended.
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<br> Neocore’s XML Commerce Server is a database that can process XML documents at more than 100 megabits per second, amounting to hundreds of thousand of transactions per minute.
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<br> "We can store and receive information much faster than any other database in the world," said Neocore’s product marketing manager Raman Singh.
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<br> That speed is due, in part, to NeoCore’s patented digital pattern processing technology, which allows computers to store data as icons and thereby identify information in patterns similar to those of the human brain. The XML Commerce Server also "allows our customers to store their information in native XML," said Singh. "They do not need to do any translation" from a legacy database, or the database currently in use, which considerably lengthens processing time.
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<br> The key to successful e-transactions, said Singh, is that "your database processing ability needs to keep up with the speed of your server or you lose customers." Since some customers may not be ready to migrate completely from their legacy databases, NeoCore has licensed technology from X-Aware Inc., also based in Colorado Springs. X-Aware’s technology, which will be available in the XML Commerce Server in beta form in early 2001, takes information from Oracle and converts it to XML and vice versa. This enables NeoCore’s XML Commerce Server to act as a front engine, inputting and outputting data from Oracle databases. Customers can thus keep the database they are used to while getting the benefit of NeoCore’s vastly improved transaction rate.
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<br> The XML Commerce Server is in beta itself right now, though it has been adopted by the Dallas-based Performance Group. Performance Group, a sister company to the Crossmark food-services sales and marketing company, maintains relationships between 1,100 manufacturers and 40 retail chains, including Albertsons, Target, Safeway and Kmart. Since communications from its customers comes in a variety of formats, Crossmark has adopted XML and the XML Commerce Server for its internal customer-relationship-management program.
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<br> If all goes well, Singh anticipates general release in the April or May 2001 time frame. "We have developed a functioning software," he said Singh. "It is in beta now to validate that our server can keep up with the real world needs of our customer. Once that is validated we’ll make it available."
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<br> NeoCore was founded in 1996. It holds two patents and has 15 pending. The XML Commerce Server is its first product offering.
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<br>Alliente inks deals with Ariba, Requisite Technology
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<br> Alliente Inc, the Colorado Springs-based online procurement company, has signed two deals to help streamline its services and set itself up for the next phase of growth.
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<br> When clients purchase its procurement software, Ariba – a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that sets up networks and systems to facilitate online procurement – will also offer Alliente’s procurement services.
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<br> "When the company buys the Ariba platform all they buy are the tools," said Kimberly Thomas, an Alliente spokeswoman. "Alliente comes in and makes procurement a reality. We’ll manage the entire system, including the implementation of Ariba, all the necessary supplier management and catalog enablement."
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<br> Alliente already installs Ariba’S B2B Commerce Platform technology as its preferred software.
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<br> Alliente also made a deal with Requisite Technology, based in Westminster. Requisite helps suppliers put their catalogs online and creates online content search and comparison engines. Under the terms of their agreement, when a client signs up for Alliente’s procurement services, Requisite will be brought in to set up the client’s catalog.
<br> "The three customers we have now are, globally, such a huge project, we wanted to get the best partner to implement those catalogs faster and more efficiently," said Thomas.
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<br> Alliente has been in business since February 2000, when it spun off from Hewlett-Packard. It currently employs 215 people worldwide, with roughly 65 in the Springs. Through these deals, it hopes to bolster its international presence, which has grown by implementing procurement systems for its three clients, Lucent, HP and Agilent, in 17 countries, with another 19 to go. It is also looking to set itself up for the introduction of its procurement program for small- to medium-sized businesses, set to debut in the first quarter of 2001.
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<br>USA.Net rolls out Channel Partner program, hires top guys
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<br> Looking to share the wealth while extending its own reach, e-mail outsourcer USA.Net has officially rolled out its Channel Partner program. Through the program, resellers can include Colorado Springs-based USA.Net’s hosted e-messaging as part of their own offerings, generating monthly revenue for both companies. Channel partners will be trained by USA.Net and able to set up and manage accounts without its intervention. Participating companies will receive discounts based on the amount of revenue they bring in.
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<br> "The real strength of this is that many of these Channel Partners have existing relationships with their customers that are very deep and very broad," said Steve Silver, vice president of commercial sales at USA.Net. "Many of them are solution providers for us. In many cases they do millions of dollars with their customers annually. So they can say, ‘If you like what we’ve had to offer before, you’re going to love this.’"
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<br> USA.Net also announced two new hires – Thomas Guthrie as chief technology officer and Mark Thostenson as senior vice president of strategic solutions. Thostenson will lead a new division, strategic solutions and professional services, responsible for forming strategic partnerships and helping existing customers with more than 5,000 employees migrate from legacy systems such as Lotus Notes or CCMail onto USA.Net’s Microsoft Exchange 2000.