GE Info Systems Exits Proprietary Network Arena

ORLANDO (03/06/2000) - GE Information Services (GEIS) is getting out of the proprietary networks business.

This morning GEIS CEO Harvey Seegers announced that the GE unit is splitting into two separate companies that will deliver business-to-business e-commerce services over the Internet.

"The (proprietary) (value-added network) we knew is entering its twilight years," Seegers told GEIS users gathered here for the company's annual users' meeting.

The new GE Global Exchange Services company, which Seegers will head, will build and implement e-commerce systems, including Internet-based trading exchanges.

For years, GEIS has furnished underlying proprietary network and support infrastructures for large trading communities - comprising more than 100,000 trading partners in all - in the petrochemical, telecommunications and other industries, Seegers said.

Now, he said, GE Global Exchange Services will focus on creating new business-to-business Internet-based marketplaces. The new company, which will inherit about 1,500 GEIS employees, also will sell an array of e-commerce software and services, including Internet-based procurement and application integration both within companies and across supply chain partners, Seegers said.

The application integration software and service, known as AppFusion, has been tested during the past year, linking online retailers ValueAmerica.com and TheBigStore.com to suppliers of the more than 40,000 products the companies sell online.

The services are based on an all-new object-oriented, Java-based Internet Component Architecture, which runs on Unix, Seegers said.

The second new company, GE Systems Services, will have about 500 employees and focus on back-end software and services, including a three-year initiative to migrate existing GEIS customers from proprietary networks to open, Internet-based systems.

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