announced new e-commerce software that lets companies link to suppliers,
distributors, and customers via the Internet or extranets.
CrossRoute Alliance, due to ship next month, lets companies with enterprise
software from different vendors--SAP, Baan, Oracle, or PeopleSoft--communicate with each other.
The new CrossRoute software stitches together functions from incompatible
enterprise software so they work together, creating what CrossRoute calls
"an extended enterprise."
"We have a strong process orientation. We connect systems under the
hood--enterprise to enterprise," said CrossRoute cofounder and chief
executive Kenneth Ross, who also cofounded Ross
Systems and served as chief executive at Documentum.
CrossRoute's Alliance lets companies link to customers, distributors, and
suppliers using the Internet or extranet. It helps automate processes to
integrate supply chains, replenish inventory, accept distributors' orders,
and coordinate logistics. The goals: reduce lead times, minimize
inventories, and boost productivity.
In addition to the Alliance server software, CrossRoute and partners will
develop "adapters" that plug into enterprise systems to allow them to
communicate with each other. Today Alliance offers a generic adapter
template, but it is developing off-the-shelf adapters for SAP, Oracle, and
PeopleSoft applications, to be delivered next year.
CrossRoute seeks to differentiate itself from other e-commerce players that
do somewhat similar things. For example, companies such as Commerce One, Ariba Technologies, and Fisher Technology Group link enterprise
purchasing systems with custom catalogs of their suppliers, mostly for
everyday office goods, not production materials.
Similarly, EDI (electronic data interchange) automates business-to-business
transactions through forms-based communications sent directly from computer
to computer without human intervention. EDI software developers such as Premenos could expand their focus by
moving from specific transactions to automating processes.
Actra, Connect, and Open Market also are active in that
Among CrossRoute's beta customers is Adaptec, a $1 billion high-tech
manufacturer that uses Alliance to automate design and ordering processes
with partners in Asia.
Alliance, written in Java, runs on Windows NT, using a Web browser on any
platform for designing, managing, and auditing processes.
Alliance is due to ship in the middle of the fourth quarter and will be
sold by CrossRoute's direct sales force. Typical pricing ranges from
$250,000 to $1 million, dependent on the specific business processes and
number of partners.
Implementation, service, and support will be offered through CrossRoute and
independent system integrators. Components include Alliance servers,
Alliance adapters (for linking to enterprise systems), and an Alliance EDI