Extensity Offers Net Links to Content

SAN MATEO (03/20/2000) - Extensity plans to offer new content links for its Internet-based travel-planning and expense reporting applications via Extensity Connect, and analysts predict that others in its niche are certain to follow.

Described as a business-to-employee hub, Extensity Connect serves as a central link to online, third-party e-procurement, business travel, and billable time management services, according to Elizabeth Ireland, vice president of marketing at Extensity.

The Extensity Connect system is capable of providing these links via widespread usage of XML, Extensity officials said.

Extensity's offerings can be set up by businesses so that they are accessed remotely by their staffs, especially sales forces. Extensity also offers direct and indirect ASP (application service provider) hosting services, Ireland said.

"Gelco Information Network has 42 customers using the [indirect] ASP service," Ireland said.

The links beyond the Extensity suite to Internet content mirror the internal links that Extensity provides between its applications and back-end systems, Ireland said.

"About 98 percent of our customers have integrated to an ERP [enterprise resource planning] system," she said. "This is not a stand-alone system."

For its debut this summer, Extensity Connect will bring together the services of three third-party vendors: EventSource.com, Netcentives, and WebEx.

The EventSource link helps employees obtain control of corporate meeting and event-related expenses, and Extensity will provide access for finding and booking hotels and services for meetings and conferences via the EventSource.com's links to its 12,000 suppliers.

Netcentives enables employers to give employees incentives for complying with corporate policies. The WebEx helps employees meet online rather than in person. Extensity Connect users will be able to conduct presentations, demonstrations, document collaboration, and training all from desktops with internal or external audiences.

These value-added service are harbingers of bundled and integrated services to come, said Timothy Tow, an analyst at the Gartner Group, a market research company in Stamford, Conn.

Extensity's competitors with expense reporting, travel management, e-procurement, and billable time capture services are likely to consider third-party connections, Tow said.

This integrated offering also serves as a new channel for the third-party, Internet-based niche service providers, Tow said. Although Extensity gets the benefit if providing these services out of the box, "it's more of a win for these incremental providers," he said.

Extensity Inc., in Emeryville, Calif., is at www.extensity.com.

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