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Netscape and Actra Technology Chosen To Create Bell Emergis Leading-Edge Business Solutions
TORONTO, Canada and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (September 10, 1997) -- Bell Canada, the largest Canadian telecommunications operating company, Netscape Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: NSCP) and Actra, a Netscape joint venture, today announced that Actra’s suite of electronic commerce solutions has been selected by Bell Emergis, a division of Bell Canada, to create a virtual private network (VPN) to supply value-added Internet commerce services to Bell Canada customers. These solutions will help Canadian corporations use the Internet to extend their reach to business partners and realize significant productivity gains.
The Netscape CommerceXpert family developed by Actra - particularly ECXpert, SellerXpert and BuyerXpert - will enable Bell Emergis to build a virtual private network to host mission-critical Internet commerce application services. The Bell Business Network will host Internet commerce applications such as Netscape SellerXpert which will allow Bell Canada business customers to build and maintain an online selling presence on the Internet in an open, encrypted and interoperable environment. Bell Canada is already using Netscape products such as Netscape Communicator Professional Edition client software and Netscape Messaging Server software to provide an integrated, state-of-the-art internal electronic mail system for 38,000 Bell Canada and Bell Sygma employees.
"This is a big step for us and the telecommunications industry. Providing customers with online support, advising them on how to best leverage the unique selling points of the Internet and establishing a new method to manage their efforts is the future for telecommunications companies," said Jim Tobin, senior vice president and COO at Bell Emergis. "Open standards-based technology and interoperability are key to offering our customers a solution that will manage their Internet commerce needs and enable us to build the first business to business Internet trading community that is not based on proprietary VAN technology."
As an integrator, Bell Emergis will lead a strategic alliance that will provide turnkey solutions to its customers. Bell Emergis will be responsible for connectivity, implementing the electronic commerce solution, integrating the solution with existing applications and fully deploying the solution throughout each client’s trading partner community.
"This agreement signals a turning point for the telecommunications industry and solidifies Actra’s position as a leading provider of mission-critical Internet commerce applications," said Jim Sha, Chief Executive Officer at Actra. "For several years now, the telecommunications industry has scrutinized leading technology products to determine their approach to providing a hosted Internet commerce applications solution to customers who choose not to host their own. This service model is extremely significant for the take-up of Internet commerce as it offers customers a cost-effective alternative to the traditional proprietary VAN solution."
"Based on affordable, standards-based technology with encryption capabilities, the Netscape/Actra/Bell Canada solution will serve as a model for leading telecommunications companies around the world as they examine where their own Internet electronic commerce offerings should be headed," said Todd Finch, president at Netscape Communications Canada Inc. "By working with a leading solutions integrator like Bell Emergis, Netscape and Actra will be able to provide corporations in Canada with technology that will allow them to be even more competitive."
Netscape Worldwide Professional Services will work with Bell Emergis in the development of a new Internet electronic data interchange (EDI) hosting framework and service for its customers.
Bell Emergis will use Netscape’s suite of electronic commerce solutions developed by Actra for its network. Netscape ECXpert, the foundation of the Netscape CommerceXpert solutions family, is a structured messaging interchange that enables data interchange either via EDI over the Internet or over non-EDI networks. Netscape ECXpert enables companies to build an Internet-based electronic commerce program. Key advantages include encrypted communications, standards-based, interoperable technology, wide accessibility, reduced implementation and operational costs, and investment protection of legacy systems, both enterprise business applications and EDI.
Netscape CommerceXpert by Actra is an integrated family of Internet commerce application solutions for conducting business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce on the Internet. The family consists of five products focused on buying, selling and merchandising over the Internet that leverage existing EDI and enterprise applications investments. Netscape CommerceXpert includes ECXpert, SellerXpert, BuyerXpert, MerchantXpert and PublishingXpert.
Bell Canada, the largest Canadian telecommunications operating company, markets a full range of state-of-the-art products and services to more than 7 million business and residence customers in Ontario and Quebec. Bell Emergis, a division of Bell Canada, was created to develop software-based networking and interactive multimedia applications for telecommunications and electronic service provider companies in domestic and international markets.
Founded in April 1996, Actra is a joint venture between GEIS and Netscape which provides next-generation Internet commerce solutions for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business commerce markets. Additionally, Actra is taking an active role in promoting open standards for Internet commerce as a leading member of the Internet Purchasing Roundtable that established the Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) standard. The OBI standard establishes a generic set of requirements, an architecture and an exact technical specification for business-to-business Internet purchasing and selling solutions. Working with American Express and SupplyWorks since October 1996, Actra is one of four companies currently compliant with the OBI standard.
Netscape Communications Corporation is a leading provider of open software for linking people and information over enterprise networks and the Internet. The company offers a full line of clients, servers, development tools and commercial applications to create a complete platform for next-generation, live online applications. Traded on NASDAQ under the symbol "NSCP," Netscape Communications Corporation is based in Mountain View, California.
For more information on Bell Canada:
For more information on Bell Emergis:
For more information about Actra:
For more information about OBI:
Additional information on Netscape Communications Corporation is available on the Internet at, or by sending email to Corporate customers can call 415/937-2555 while consumers can call 415/937-3777 for more information.
Netscape and Netscape Navigator are registered trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation in the United States and other countries. Netscape's logos and Netscape product and service names are also trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation, which may be registered in other countries.
Actra contact:
Suzanne Burnip
(408) 542-3181

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