Andersen, Edocs Align for E-Billing

BOSTON (04/26/2000) - Andersen Consulting Inc. and edocs Inc. today announced an alliance to meet consumer demand for electronic presentation and payment of bills. The services will include secure online transactions with an easy-to-use interface and free or low-cost access to bills and statements.

According to a joint statement issued today, the consumer's desire to depart from the traditional paper method of bill-paying is fueling a demand for electronic presentation of bills and statements, and the alliance plans to meet that demand. Under the alliance, Andersen will offer electronic bill payment and presentation based on edocs' BillDirect product suite to a range of industries including telecommunication, utilities and financial services. The product suite is designed to give vendors in these markets electronic methods to bill their clients, according to the statement.

Jim Moran, executive vice president of sales and marketing and one of the co-founders of edocs, has high expectations for the customer base of the new service. "We're going out and talking to the regional Bell operating companies -- they're our number one target," Moran said in a telephone interview today.

He added that the alliance is also focusing on CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) and DSL (digital subscriber line) vendors, in addition to those offering voice over IP, voice over cable and a "whole host of emerging wireless players."

Andersen has set up an entire edocs practice, training its employees in the edocs software and investing heavily in order to deliver the services to the marketplace, Moran said.

The service already has several users, Moran said. Texas Utilities (TXU), one of the largest utilities companies in the U.S., has recently selected the Andersen/edocs service to provide better customer service, the statement said.

Other clients include Sprint Corp.'s long distance and local divisions, which use an entire application developed by edocs on behalf of Sprint, according to Moran, who adds that the company plans to pursue opportunities in the U.K. and Australia, and will be announcing a multinational deal next week.

This is not the first alliance between Andersen and edocs. According to Moran, the company has two other seven-figure contracts with Andersen and expects a multimillion dollar relationship from the collaborations. Due to the recent filing of an IPO (initial public offering), Moran declined to comment on financial details.

Andersen Consulting, in Chicago, can be contacted at +1-312-693-7768 or at http://www.ac.com/. Edocs, based in Natick, Massachusetts, can be reached at +1-508-652-8600 or on the Web at http://www.edocs.com/.

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