Press Release Summary:
Content+ Supplier Portal includes features that expedite supplier cooperation in eCatalog production and maintenance. It incorporates administrative dashboard, functionality for viewing and approving catalog updates, and full audit tracking. Other features include support for quantity discounts, promotional pricing, pre-loading of catalog changes for activation on a designated date, and product or catalog expiration dates.
Original Press Release:
ePlus Accelerates Supplier Collaboration & Creation of Electronic Product Catalogs with New Supplier Portal for Content+ Provides Rapid Content Loading and EasyInteraction for Suppliers
HERNDON, VA - December 10, 2003 - ePlus inc. (Nasdaq NM: PLUS - news) today announced a new version of the Supplier Portal component of Content+, the company's comprehensive solution for automating the creation and management of electronic product catalogs. The new features are designed to expedite critical supplier cooperation in eCatalog production and maintenance, and to simplify catalog administration both for suppliers and for enterprise catalog managers involved in electronic procurement initiatives.
The new release adds a full-featured administrative dashboard for catalog approvers and suppliers, extended patterns for auto-recognition and value extraction to support full self-authoring and enhanced data mining, enhanced functionality for viewing and approving catalog updates, and full audit tracking of catalog changes including identification of users, date, time, and nature of change. Other new features include support for quantity discounts, promotional pricing with defined starting and ending dates, pre-loading of catalog changes for activation on a designated date, and product or catalog expiration dates.
Enhancements have been made both to the Portal Hub, a workflow-enabled system allowing suppliers to load, update, enrich, cleanse, aggregate, and self-author data while enabling buyers to control pricing and other changes; and to the Syndicator, a utility that helps suppliers satisfy customers' disparate data requirements by allowing customer-defined data to be dynamically distributed in a variety of formats to virtually any third-party eProcurement, ERP or accounting system using XML protocols.
"Catalog creation in terms of supplier on-boarding and management of data has been shown to be the #1 impediment to eProcurement and supply-chain implementations because it is so time-consuming, but our Content+ technology can reduce implementation time significantly," said Ken Farber, President of ePlus Systems and Content Services. "This new release of our Content+ Supplier Portal continues our efforts to accelerate supplier adoption and thereby assist enterprises in reaping the full benefits of content management."
"It's clear that suppliers need a comprehensive system that lets them manage product content as efficiently as they manage products," said Jim Murphy, Senior Research Analyst, in an AMR Research report. "The suppliers that manage product content efficiently, with a unified, centralized product content system that serves the needs of all their sales channels, will reap enormous rewards ... [including the ability to generate new revenue by providing better access to up-to-date product information and highlighting upsell and cross-sell opportunities."*
The Content+ Supplier Portal plays a key role in producing intuitive online catalogs that help control enterprise purchasing by enabling requisitioners to quickly search for and compare products available from authorized vendors. It also enables suppliers to reduce overhead, improve negotiation terms, and gain more product exposure by presenting new and updated product information to the buyer directly in the Portal. Suppliers can use the Portal to:
· Self-author their products without having to change branded information or create a new export application for the particular buyer.
· Easily load products via electronic file transfer, FTP access, or manually.
· Quickly classify and enrich products with the help of ePlus technology that automates these processes.
· Easily manage their product information through the entire lifecycle, including easy editing, changing, modifying and deletion of items.
· Maintain and syndicate enriched product information to other buyers using ePlus services and solutions.
The catalogs generated with ePlus' Content+ enable requisitioners to shop in their own buying culture and easily find all of the products they need in a single hub, with a single look and feel. They also allow buyers to accurately analyze their spend and negotiate better sourcing of goods.
The Content+ Supplier Portal is being used by major manufacturing, publishing and research companies to simplify and synchronize the creation of electronic product catalogs for internal use in their organizations.
ePlus' Content+ is a suite of software and services designed to facilitate the production and management of electronic product content catalogs. The system draws on a 12-year repository of business rules, best-practice methodologies, and commodity and class codes that automate the vast majority of data analysis, normalization and rationalization procedures, significantly reducing ramp-up time and user overhead.
Content+ automates the process of aggregating information from multiple vendor catalogs into a single online database; automates the translation of plain free-form text descriptions into enriched, parametrically searchable items in a uniform format to facilitate cross-catalog searching; and speeds the process of data classification through a knowledge base of over 4,000,000 pattern matching rules and 44,000 pre-defined categories that is the largest in the industry. Products can be classified according to OBI (Open Buying on the Internet), UNSPSC (United Nations Standard Product and Service Classification) or Uniform Code Council (UCC) standards, or the customer's internal self-defined schema.
Content+ also offers workflow allowing each party to customize comprehensive approval and change management functions, including up to 10 levels of approval for data creation modification and publication; comprehensive reporting and analysis tools; the ability to integrate with ERP and legacy systems utilizing EDI and XML; and optional eCatalog hosting services.
About ePlus inc.
A leading provider of Enterprise Cost Management, ePlus provides a comprehensive solution to reduce the costs of purchasing, owning, and financing goods and services. ePlus Enterprise Cost Management (eECM) packages business process outsourcing, eProcurement, asset management, supplier enablement, strategic sourcing, document access and collaboration, and financial services into a single integrated solution, all based on ePlus' leading business application software. Profitable since inception in 1990, the company is headquartered in Herndon, VA, and has more than 30 locations in the U.S. For more information, visit www.eplus.com, call 888-482-1122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ePlus, Content+, Content+ Supplier Portal, ePlus Enterprise Cost Management, and eECM are trademarks or trademarks applied for of ePlus inc.
* AMR Research Report: Sell-Side Product Content: The Key to Supplier Empowerment, July 2, 2001