Intersect Commerce Ships Turnkey B2B Solution
With the emergence of e-commerce as a business critical strategy, application vendors have long sought the Holy Grail of business-to-business packages: an e-commerce solution capable of consolidating disparate business processes on heterogeneous platforms under one common hood. With the release of its Interport business to business e-commerce solution, Intersect Commerce (Duluth, Ga.) hopes to serve up exactly such a grail-like icon for users of the AS/400.
Interport is an e-commerce platform that opens up internal business processes, says Mason Clodfelter, president of Intersect Commerce, so that customers can access them over the Internet.
“It allows companies to conduct several forms of business with their business partners in a business-to-business environment,” he explains. “They can have their customers that are businesses come in over the Internet and they can offer various forms of customer service, such as billing history, or they can actually place orders through the Interport solution.”
Intersect Commerce positions Interport as a turnkey packaged software solution that is also largely customizable depending upon a company’s needs.
For organizations that manufacture or otherwise distribute products, Interport provides an online resource for business partners or customers, Clodfelter says. Instead of relying upon “legacy” communicative technologies such as faxes, phone calls or even snail-mailed purchase orders, business partners or customers can use a Web browser such as Navigator or Internet Explorer to complete their orders.
Interport also provides a number of traditional business-to-business amenities such as the browser-based order placement, but also includes the ability to receive instant updates on the status of an order or shipment, provides a search engine feature that can be indexed by either product number or keyword attributes, supplies built-in security and boasts 24x7 access.
These days, no e-commerce solution worth its shrink-wrap would be complete without also providing either a portal strategy or base-level reporting capabilities, and Interport ships with both. Because intranet capabilities have become increasingly important as a means to keep both employees and associates informed, Clodfelter says that Interport’s portal technology can allow an outside sales representative, for example, to access a company intranet and receive real-time access to inventory, customer order status, and product and promotional information.
Insofar as reporting capabilities are concerned, Interport’s reporting engine allows business executives to obtain information pertaining to orders, new customers and customer purchasing trends.
But it’s with regard to its cross-platform capabilities that Interport really distinguishes itself, Clodfelter maintains. Although Intersect Commerce has strong development ties to IBM and to the AS/400, the company also provides a coherent strategy for accessing other platforms, offering support for Windows NT, several flavors of Unix and for the AS/400. And in an e-commerce age when newer client/server technologies such as Windows NT must interoperate to some extent with backroom stalwarts like the AS/400 and Unix, cross platform support can be a compelling factor.
“As far as the architecture is concerned, … some of its strengths lie in its ability to tie into the back-end system, because we’ve set this up and we build it so that it can tie into a variety of back-end systems,” Clodfelter explains. “In the Internet arena, you always hear that you have to connect to your ‘legacy’ systems, but almost any of the back-end systems are going to be categorized in that environment.”
Related Information:Intersect Commerce (new window)Interport Product Overview (new window)