AlphaBlox Brings BI to Online Trading Platforms

SAN MATEO (03/03/2000) - Taking a novel approach to the problem of providing trading platform operators with easy-to-use business intelligence capabilities, AlphaBlox Corp. this week will launch its Analysis Suite, eBusiness Edition.

AlphaBlox's solution uses a Java component-based architecture that Michael Skok, founder and chairman of AlphaBlox, said sets it apart.

"We're the only business intelligence application that is designed to plug seamlessly into a trading platform," Skok said. "People don't want to call up a separate application to figure out what is going on on the network. They want to be able to get at this data right from the Web site."

One company hoping to take advantage of exactly that characteristic with an AlphaBlox Analysis Suite solution is ChannelPoint in Colorado Springs, Colo.

ChannelPoint provides the e-commerce infrastructure for insurance-related online trading networks that link a variety of entities via numerous mechanisms, such as private online storefronts that link insurance carriers with distributors, or portals that connect distributors with customers.

ChannelPoint's solutions, said Frederick Rook, executive vice president of product development and operations at ChannelPoint, use a Java architecture that is less than two years old and must meet rigorous scalability and flexibility demands along with the needs of disparate users. They must also support numerous interfaces and analytic capabilities, he added.

For those reasons the choice to go with AlphaBlox was fairly simple, Rook said.

"What we wanted was a Java-based solution that would support easy embedding with overall storefronts, and something we thought would have good performance and be flexible in building the types of personalized storefronts we needed," Rook said. "By far the vendor that excelled across those attributes was AlphaBlox, which combines power and scalability on the back end, with [front-end] flexibility."

In fact, Rook said, more than simply meeting ChannelPoint's needs, the AlphaBlox solution could provide the company with a a new application paradigm.

"What these analytics really represent is the next type of e-commerce application," Rook said. "What we're focusing on are the e-commerce transactions -- enabling buying and selling. What the analytics allow us to provide is commerce intelligence."

That is a value-adding proposition made possible by AlphaBlox's modular, component-based architecture, Rook said.

AlphaBlox Corp., in Mountain View, Calif., is at

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