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InterWorld updates B2B software

The e-business software maker will next week launch a revamped version of its software, which allows suppliers to construct online catalogs for customers.

E-business software maker InterWorld next week will unveil a revamped version of its e-commerce software suite, the company said.

Targeting the so-called sell side of the business-to-business market, meaning software that suppliers use to sell their goods to customers online, InterWorld has built Commerce Exchange Business Suite 4.0, business-to-consumer software that is combined with a host of new business-to-business tools and applications.

The company decided to tag the package with a version 4.0 title because it plans to sell the same package to business-to-consumer customers and business-to-business clients.

Sell-side e-commerce software enables suppliers to establish online catalogs for customers to buy from, as well as manage inventory and build online customer relationships. Buy-side e-commerce software, such as applications by Ariba and Commerce One, enables users to select goods from online catalogs and purchase them online.

"This is InterWorld's most significant push into the business-to-business e-commerce market because it focuses on the sell side of the market," said Forrester Research analyst Josh Walker. "It is also an interesting release because it focuses on just physical goods. They're not trying to go for the whole world with this release. They are strictly targeting a particular market."

InterWorld went public last year and competes with e-commerce companies BroadVision and Blue Martini, company executives said.

The new software enables users to build multi-supplier catalogs, sophisticated search capabilities, and access to marketplaces built by InterWorlds' existing partners Ariba and Commerce One. Sellers can upload catalogs using an Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard.

The new software package includes payment management and product merchandising applications, which help manage sales volumes and order sizes for sellers, resulting in lower costs for purchasers, the company said.

New order management applications included in the software suite enable users to manage excess inventory and help reduce manual data entry.

In March, InterWorld and Commerce One announced a new marketing and technology alliance to support business-to-business trading through Commerce One's worldwide goods and services exchange. Under terms of the deal, InterWorld's technology provides suppliers with access to Commerce One's marketplace and other Web portals.

Although pricing for Commerce Exchange Business Suite 4.0 was not available, company executives said their products generally sell for about $900,000 per software license.