Announcing their alliance at this week's Internet Showcase 98 in San Diego, California, the companies plan to integrate Vision Factory's Cat@log with Pandesic's electronic business package.
Cat@log is a tool for the design, development, and operation of Web-based storefronts, offering integration with various data sources that provide online businesses with an assortment of merchant features. The software builds a Web storefront by pulling data from a database to generate Web pages on the fly. Using existing databases allows catalog information to be changed quickly, the company said.
The tool brings a needed piece to the Pandesic product. "What we've been saying all along is that we offer a complete solution," Pandesic's director of marketing James Moriarty said. "But customers would tell us that we're not a complete solution until you have a front-end."
A joint venture by SAP and Intel, Pandesic was intended to package SAP business application software with Intel-based PC hardware, enabling almost any company, whether fledgling or Fortune 500, to do business over the Internet.
Rolling out its services last September, merchants were able to take advantage of Pandesic's e-business system for the first time at an entry price of $25,000. Merchants will pay a monthly, transaction-based fee that will vary from a high of 6 percent to a low of 1 percent. The fee is based on Internet commerce revenue, for which merchants will receive continuing, "evergreen" service, according to company executives.
The Vision Factory alliance puts a face on all of that back-end power. "So this is definitely a step in the right direction for us to complete our e-business package," Moriarty said.
Another plus is Vision factory's strength in the European e-business market place, he added. "It positions us really well there."
However, Vision Factory's place in the American market is relatively new. The Denmark-based company entered the e-business space here just last year and competes with a number of native vendors.
Vision Factory competes with software tools from Seattle, Washington-based iCat, which offers templates of catalog pages for its users.
Moriarty believes Vision Factory teamed with Pandesic offers a tough package to beat. "You need a whole business process, back-end to front-end, that provides a strong e-business solution. We offer that."