REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 29, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that, just two weeks after the release to manufacturing of Commerce Server 2000, leading traditional and Internet companies such as RadioShack.com, Henry Schein Inc., Clarus Corp. and Starbucks Coffee Company are among the first to deploy next-generation e-business systems based on the product across a broad range of business scenarios. These and many other companies have chosen Microsoft® Commerce Server 2000 because it provides the most comprehensive and integrated foundation to rapidly build tailored and highly effective e-business solutions for online retail, supply-side business-to-business (B2B), e-marketplace applications, and e-business analytics scenarios. Customers interested in building Commerce Server 2000 solutions can begin immediately with the evaluation copy and will have a seamless path to production when the product is generally available in December 2000.
“Our early adopters have shown that Commerce Server 2000 delivers the broadest integrated functionality and the fastest time to market for e-commerce systems and e-business analytics,”
said Chris Atkinson, vice president for .NET Developer Solutions at Microsoft Corp.
“The latest of the .NET Enterprise Servers, Commerce Server 2000 enables any company to get to market quickly, optimize its customers’ experiences, and empower its business managers to build success into the online business.”
Comprehensive E-Commerce System
Commerce Server 2000 is the fourth generation of Microsoft’s commerce server technology and offers the fully integrated core subsystems critical for sell-side e-commerce and e-business analytics solutions. Commerce Server enables effective online business by providing integrated systems for user profiling and management, targeted campaigns and personalization, product and service management, flexible order processing, and sophisticated decision support — all of which can be managed easily by business managers through Commerce Server’s new Business Desk.
New features in Microsoft Commerce Server 2000 include the following:
Personalization, merchandising and user management. The Profiling System and Targeting System work together to deliver scalable user profiling and management, sophisticated personalization, and targeted marketing campaigns (e.g., advertising, direct mail, cross-sell and up-sell). These systems enable one-to-one marketing by delivering the content most relevant to users based on user preferences and profile data, explicit business rules and system-driven recommendations.
Business decision support. The Business Analytics System is an integrated e-business data warehousing, data mining and analysis system to empower business managers with a holistic view into the site’s effectiveness. Built on top of Microsoft SQL Server™
, the system aggregates transaction history, requisition and shopping cart data, user profiles, campaigns and catalog data. With more than 100 e-business metrics and built-in segmentation and prediction capabilities, businesses can rapidly analyze site trends, define meaningful user segments and make better business decisions to drive site effectiveness.
Empowered business managers. The Business Desk is targeted at business users and helps centralize site management across all business aspects of the site. Twenty built-in modules make it easy to manage users and business partners; run and view analyses; conduct advertising, discount and direct-mail campaigns; create and manage products, pricing and custom catalogs; view and modify order processes; and much more. Developers also can extend the Business Desk to host additional custom modules.
Flexible order processing. The Business Processing Pipelines System offers an extensible framework for defining and linking stages of a business process to enable tailored processing of orders, advertising, merchandising, content selection and other processes. This flexible architecture has been the cornerstone of Commerce Server’s large community of leading third-party vendors, which deliver solutions that integrate with and extend the product.
Catalog management. The Product Catalog System manages products and services and enables creation of custom catalogs, fast and sophisticated searching capabilities, and easy XML-based catalog interchange with trading partners.
Customers Deploy Successful E-Business Solutions on Commerce Server 2000
A large and fast-growing industry, e-business promises lower costs and greater efficiencies through increased automation and streamlined business processing with trading partners across the supply chain, as well as increased revenues through greater customer loyalty and global reach. Commerce Server 2000 provides the core e-commerce capabilities for businesses that want to extend their products and services directly to business customers via online ordering or integration with buy-side applications, as well as indirectly via e-marketplace integration. Commerce Server also serves as the cornerstone for Microsoft’s E-Business Acceleration initiative. Unveiled Nov. 6, 2000, E-Business Acceleration is an integrated B2B initiative for empowering suppliers of any size to effectively extend their selling capabilities through multiple direct and indirect Internet-based channels. More information on Commerce Server or the E-Business Acceleration initiative is available online at http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/ .
Following are four of the many examples of companies achieving greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, streamlined procurement, more accurate and effective analytics, and other benefits with e-business solutions built upon Commerce Server 2000:
Henry Schein, Inc. is one of the world’s largest distributors of medical, dental and veterinary healthcare products to office-based practitioners and currently serves over 400,000 customers in 125 countries. To centralize and improve Web ordering, the company introduced a new HenrySchein.com using the Commerce Server 2000 platform to enhance the online experience and extend reach to incremental customers. In addition, the new site offers sophisticated searching, streamlined ordering and a high level of online customer self-service — all to offer buyers the fastest and easiest path to single and repeat purchasing through the Henry Schein network.
“Today, the best e-commerce sites offer rich and flexible marketing, sales and service functionality that complements existing sales channels and integrates seamlessly with business processes,”
said Larry Gibson, corporate chief technology officer and executive vice president of Henry Schein.
“By using Commerce Server, HenrySchein.com offers sophisticated business-to-business capabilities that enable us to service existing and future customers on the Web.”
RadioShack.com switched platforms so it could implement Commerce Server 2000 to build a centralized architecture that serves its vast consumer retail market as well as its extensive Corporate Sales Division’s B2B market. The new site will use Commerce Server’s member profiling and personalization capabilities to adapt to whether the customer is an end consumer or from a business account. RadioShack.com plans to take full advantage of Commerce Server’s e-business analytics features to empower marketers to track customer habits and site trends and to drive more effective campaigns and optimized content. The site also integrates seamlessly with RadioShack.com’s IBM DB/2-based back-end systems to synchronize prices and promotions between the site and RadioShack’s retail outlets.
“RadioShack.com serves a diverse customer base made up of millions of registered and anonymous consumers as well as thousands of business clients,”
said Henry Chiarelli, president of RadioShack.com.
“With Commerce Server, we’re able to increase customer satisfaction and drive more business across each of these segments while centralizing and streamlining the processes.”
Clarus Corp. became an early adopter of Commerce Server when architecting a new eMarket product to enable digital market-makers such as Wachovia and HispanB2B to build private e-marketplaces. Taking full advantage of Microsoft’s .NET Enterprise Servers, Clarus utilizes Commerce Server’s Profiling, Targeting, Product Catalog and Business Pipelines systems to power its eMarket product. This extensive set of features enables eMarket to offer customers targeted and personalized marketing and advertising, custom catalog management and flexible business processing.
“Time to market is one of the key reasons we chose to build our B2B products using Microsoft’s .NET Enterprise Servers as a foundation,”
said Mark Gagne, chief operating officer for Clarus.
“We were able to cut development time in half for our eMarket product while still providing a full-featured solution that can be tailored to meet our customers’ specific needs.”
Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading roaster and retailer of specialty coffees in the world, with more than 3,500 stores worldwide and an online Web site established in 1998. When relaunching the site this year on Commerce Server 2000, the company focused on e-business intelligence with the goal of maximizing customer satisfaction and online revenues. Such closed-loop e-business analytics enable Starbucks to identify patterns in customer behavior, make assumptions about the causes of those patterns, and then rapidly test those assumptions through online campaigns and personalization to ultimately drive site effectiveness.
“As a company that champions innovation and thrives on customer loyalty, we recognized early on that the Internet could be a fantastic medium for better understanding our customers,”
said Jim Nystrom, vice president of Starbucks Direct.
“Commerce Server 2000 has been critical to Starbucks’ ongoing success in learning how our Web site can deliver a richer and more satisfying online experience for our customers.”
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