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ITASCA, Ill. (May 20, 1997) Drawing upon its expertise in procurement systems for Fortune 1000 companies, Boise Cascade Office Products has teamed up with Actra, a joint venture between Netscape and GE Information Services, to help develop and beta-test applications solutions for Actra CrossCommerce, a cross platform family of application solutions for conducting Internet commerce.

As a beta-test partner in Actra's development of CrossCommerce, Boise will incorporate two Actra CrossCommerce solutions, ECXpert and OrderXpert Seller, into Internet 97 (I-97), the customer Internet ordering system Boise launched in January 1997 (

Actra CrossCommerce, officially unveiled today by Actra, is the only product family built from the ground up on Internet standards that focus on the needs of Fortune 1000 companies implementing inter-enterprise Internet commerce application solutions with customers and suppliers. Actra CrossCommerce supports Internet-based commerce objectives that provide for information consistency, integrity, control and system administration.

ECXpert, the foundation product of Actra CrossCommerce that translates and maps data to and from any format, will be released commercially on May 30. OrderXpert Seller will be available in the third quarter of 1997 and OrderXpert Buyer in the fourth quarter. These flexible solutions enable buyers and sellers to customize Internet commerce systems.

As a member of a consortium seeking to develop a standards-based system for secure Internet ordering, Boise began working with Actra at its conception in April 1996, to provide specifications to build a business-to-business electronic commerce system.

"At that time, there was a major void in the marketplace for flexible business-to-business solutions to help buyers and sellers communicate more easily and effectively during transactions", said Laurie Beeson, vice president of marketing at Boise. Boise and other industry leaders recognized that Internet technology would drive the future of electronic commerce, so we approached Netscape to help us build an Internet-centric foundation.

The result of the consortium was the design of three business-to-business solutions to support buyers and sellers with Internet purchasing.

"For nearly a decade, Boise has been an industry leader in utilizing electronic commerce to customize and streamline ordering processes for its customers, said Ray Rike, vice president of sales and marketing, Actra. Boise's knowledge of the customer/supplier relationship, especially as it relates to purchasing habits and models, helped us to create customer-centric solutions that were functionally rich and intuitive.

Boise Beta Tests First CrossCommerce Products on I-97

In the last few months, Boise has tested ECXpert and OrderXpert Seller. Testing Actra CrossCommerce with select customers, Boise will be leveraging the flexibility of the new solutions to develop more customized and streamline ordering systems for its customers.

Boise is always searching for new ways to improve process efficiencies to eliminate redundancies and reduce hidden costs, and Actra CrossCommerce enabled us to do that, said Beeson. Boise intends to integrate Actra CrossCommerce as much as possible with I-97 to deliver a more flexible and customer-friendly Internet ordering system.

Boise Adds New Features to I-97 to Provide Customers with More Convenience and Customization

Boise will incorporate ECXpert into I-97 to improve communication functions with customers. ECXpert will reduce processing time for customer order requests by eliminating the need for Boise to use both a VAN (value added network) and EDI translation software. ECXpert will also enable companies to protect their existing investments in their legacy systems by allowing data to be passed in any file format.

Boise has also recently introduced several new customer features to I-97:

EZ Order Forms -- Boise customers can create shopping lists of frequently ordered products and place them on pull down menus for easy point and click ordering

Unlimited Approval Levels -- Administrators can set up customized routing systems to ensure that all orders receive proper approval before they are forwarded to Boise

Future enhancements to I-97, which will be rolled out throughout 1997, will provide these additional benefits:

Order Consolidation -- Orders can be consolidated by cost centers to deliver products directly to consignees

Item restrictions -- I-97 can place budget and/or quantity restrictions on ordering by individual groups or users

Usage reports -- Customers can more closely monitor and manage purchasing with standard or customized usage reports available on request

Boise Cascade Office Products Corp. is the premier business-to-business distributor of products for the office, with operations in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For more information on Actra's CrossCommerce contact Actra at (408) 542-3181 or toll-free at 1-888-706-2600, or check out Actra's web page at Alternatively, call one of Actra's authorized dealers: GE Information Services at 1-800-560-4347 or Netscape Communications Corporation at 1-800-638-7483.


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