Briefs

FRAMINGHAM (03/03/2000) - Oracle Corp., Sears, Roebuck & Co. and French retailer Carrefour AG last week announced the formation of a business-to-business online purchasing exchange that they said will be the largest of its kind in the retail industry. Called the GlobalNetXchange, the online marketplace will initially serve Sears' and Carrefour's $80 billion supply-chain purchases from a combined 50,000 suppliers, partners and distributors, the companies said.

Other retailers will be invited to join the online marketplace, which is based on Oracle Exchange, the company's e-business marketplace platform. The new exchange, deploying standard Web browsers, will let members buy, sell, trade or auction goods and services over the Net. GlobalNetXchange will begin operations within 30 days.

OnLink, which markets Web server software that acts as a virtual sales assistant to online buyers at e-commerce sites, says it plans to ship a version of its software by midyear for business-to-business trade exchanges. The company's current software, which costs about $400,000, is limited to "single seller to multiple buyer" situations. The new version will assist a buyer in choosing items offered by multiple sellers at the same trading exchange.

Network management software vendor RiverSoft has received $35 million in funding from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Private Equity and a group of partners including Cisco. The company, which sells software that pinpoints problems on IP networks, will use the new funds to expand its sales force and customer support operation. The investment will also help the company deliver a new suite of software to be detailed at a later time.

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