NEW ORLEANS (04/10/2000) - With its new Jasmine ii electronic business platform finally being released for general availability this week, Computer Associates International Inc. used its worldwide user conference here today to draw back the curtain on a set of applications built on Jasmine ii that it says will help customers quickly deploy online business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) systems.
The Jasmine iApplication suite, slated for shipment in the third quarter, includes iMarket, iProcure and iServices, which itself comprises components for extending the application suite. The iMarket package supports commerce sites with catalogs and order processing, while iProcure offers similar capabilities for the business procurement process. Jasmine iServices include iShip, for selecting shipping services and calculating shipping costs for an order; iPay, which integrates a commerce site with payment processing services and financing services; and iTax, which calculates sales and value-added taxes for any kind of order from any country.
The applications built on Jasmine ii signal CA's intention to offer not just a platform for e-business but also that it "absolutely intends to be in the B2B engine business," said Sanjay Kumar, CA president and chief operating officer, at a press conference here at CA World this morning.
Kumar also indicated that besides offering customers the tools to build B2B exchanges, CA would build some exchanges itself, saying, "We're going to be doing some of our own in the market and procurement space."
CA Chairman and CEO Charles Wang trumpeted the release of Jasmine ii as "something that will forever change" the way companies execute e-business.
"Businesses have been unable to create a unique e-business experience, with dynamic personalization, visualization and seamless integration -- now we believe they can," Wang said.
Jasmine ii has been in beta release since last July and has more than 2,000 beta testers, many of whom are already in production with systems based on the platform, Wang said.
Hugh Armstrong, vice president and chief information officer of American Hotel Register Co. in Vernon Hills, Illinois, described at the press conference how the hotel supply company has built a B2B exchange on Jasmine ii that has, among other things, increased sales and reduced returns through dynamic personalization that suggests the most appropriate products for customers.
Later, Armstrong told IDG how the system's use of Neugents -- the neural network agents that are a feature of Jasmine ii -- allows it to suggest supplies for hotels that are opening swimming pools, based on the time of year and region where the customer is based. American Hotel Register is also taking advantage of Jasmine ii's ability to deliver personalized portals through Neugents. "That's pretty key for us as an e-business company. A lot of companies are treating their customers the same, and that's not good," Armstrong said.
One analyst said that CA's success with Jasmine will hinge largely on its services organization, which just grew significantly with the recent acquisition of Sterling Software.
"Jasmine has pulled together a lot of different technologies -- also from other vendors -- to pull off an e-business infrastructure. It's powerful. The Achilles heel is the services needed to pull off applications of this kind of scope," said Steven Foote, president and CEO of Enswers.com Inc. in North Easton, Massachusetts.
Neugents can differentiate CA from competitors Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp., Foote added. "If they can demonstrate to the market that Neugents are a viable technology, then they're on their way."
Pricing for Jasmine ii starts at US$2,000; it's available for Windows 2000 and Windows NT, and versions for major Linux and Unix versions, including Sun Solaris and IBM AIX, are scheduled for release this quarter, according to the company. A version for OS/390 is also planned.
Besides the Neugents, which have starred in most of the flashy demos CA executives have put on here so far, Jasmine ii includes a range of services, including an application server, distributed transaction management, messaging, naming, a publish/subscribe engine, events, compression, encryption, cache management, an object request broker and an object database, the original Jasmine product. CA is also stressing the ability to use Jasmine ii to integrate a range of legacy applications into end-to-end commerce systems and its support for standards such as XML (extensible markup language), Java and EJBs (enterprise Java beans).
While Jasmine ii delivers what Kumar called "a complete, end-to-end Web infrastructure environment," the iApplications suite is intended to give companies a quick start on e-business.
Jasmine iMarket features also include the following:
-- shopping cart for customers
-- dynamic integration of back-end inventory and MRP with catalog-- catalog personalization that adapts to individual customers-- customer management; defines authorized users and can restrict access to selected products-- order administration that sends completed order to internal sales order processing systems, generates order confirmations-- imports external vendor catalogs.
Jasmine iProcure delivers the following functionality:
-- buyer administration; defines approved buyers, controls access, manages approval limits and approval hierarchies-- purchase order administration-- imports approved vendor catalogs-- defines and organizes information for internal catalogs-- adapts to buyer preferences and transaction histories-- shopping cart for internal purchasers.
Pricing for the iApplications was not announced.
CA, in Islandia, New York, can be reached at +1-631-342-6600 or http://www.cai.com/.