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GE service builds extranets

GE Information Services launches a new version of its GE InterBusiness Partner service, which lets companies set up extranets using GEIS's infrastructure.

    GE Information Services, a unit of General Electric (GE), today launched a new version of its GE InterBusiness Partner service, which lets companies set up extranets using GEIS's infrastructure.

    Version 2.0 of the GEIS service, built on Netscape Communication's (NSCP) SuiteSpot 3.1 software, sets up private trading communities on an outsourced basis. It integrates legacy systems with email, Web pages, and discussion groups for communication and information sharing.

    GEIS also announced that its sales force will distribute ECXpert and SellerXpert, products of GE's joint venture with Netscape called Actra. The two products are part of Actra's CommerceXpert line of e-commerce software. Netscape announced last week that its sales force also will market the Actra software.

    "We wanted to fill the hole in the product line with NT," said Nick Marchetti, the GEIS global product manager for ECXpert. "When we look at pipeline for potential sales, 75 to 80 percent are on the Windows NT platform. We've been trying to get an NT product to market for some time."

    GEIS called distribution of ECXpert a "key step" in its strategy to extend traditional EDI, a forms-based means of communicating directly from computer to computer without human intervention, and conducting electronic commerce over the Internet. GEIS operates the largest value-added network for conducting EDI over secure private networks.

    ECXpert is available now on Sun Solaris and will be available on NT within 30 days. SellerXpert is due to ship within 30 days.