Foresight aims to ease Web-based B2B trading

Foresight Solutions Inc., a decade-old, privately held firm specializing in EDI software, this week ships software that lets corporations register new trading partners on the Web and exchange business documents in HTML, XML, EDI or other formats.

The server-based Foresight Trade Accelerator keeps track of trading partner activity from first contact, generating an e-mail with a hyperlink back to the Web site encouraging online interaction. When trading partners do register, the Unix or Windows NT program facilitates online exchange of business documents through automated conversion into desired standard formats such as XML or proprietary ones such as those defined by SAP.

Mellon Financial's Global Cash Management division has been using an early version of Trade Accelerator for Web-based document exchange and bill presentment for large companies.

"We offer this as a service we call Mellon TradeLinks on a hosted ASP basis for corporate clients," says Randi Lichtenstein, vice president and senior e-commerce product manager.

Trade Accelerator provides a lot of flexibility in converting documents for clients, Lichtenstein says.

"We'll be making use of the XML translation eventually, which will simply allow another way to send data," she adds. Mellon encrypts all data it makes available to TradeLinks users via FTP or e-mail by using a separate product, Templar, originally developed by Harbinger, which was bought by Peregrine Systems.

Trade Accelerator, priced according to the number of trading partners using it, starts at US$8,000 for 150 trading partners.


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