December 2000

NAPASTYLE.COM GOES LIVE! After the successful launch of the Season by Season site that supported the PBS show featuring Michael Chiarello as chef, Michael's parent company contracted with OMIX to build an E-Commerce and content site featuring the Napa lifestyle and some great gifts that help support this lifestyle. Addwater did the graphics and user interface, one of the best jobs we have seen.

SANDY LILLIE, OMIX COO IS FEATURED in the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, November 24th, 2000 issue with an article about how OMIX sets salaries. OMIX has a very positive culture and this article touches on one of the many reasons.

CHARLES SCHWAB'S STREET SMART continues to be a very successful application despite Schwab's emphasis on e-Schwab (its Web trading site). Part of Street Smart's success is that many serious traders want an active user interface rather than a standard Web (fill in the form) based interface. Street Smart uses technology from Marimba to update its users automatically across the Internet. OMIX worked with Schwab to imbed the Marimba technology and to give it a Street Smart branded look and feel.

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS INTEGRATION IS HOT but understanding the jargon can be difficult. B2B integration is the process of linking two or more companies across the Internet to perform network-based transactions between businesses. In pre-Internet days this was done with EDI, (Electronic Data Interchange), messages. They were formatted, email like messages, and were used instead of purchase orders. Now businesses are linked using eXtensible Markup Language (XML) which are still formatted files (like EDI) except that they are can be used for many different types of information and they have a format that is similar to HTML, which helps it pass over the Internet. Typically B2B integration also includes the process of hooking to backend legacy systems (like mainframe databases and accounting systems). The process of hooking these legacy systems is called Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). The process of controlling the flow of information with people and inputs from other systems is called Workflow. Companies that provide B2B integration tools include Vitria, WebMethods and BEA which just announced their Collaborate and Process Integrator products. The BEA products are Java 2 Enterprise Edition compliant.

PRIVATE B2B EXCHANGES ARE EVEN HOTTER. Most people think of a B2B exchange site as being a meeting place of many purchasers and buyers. OMIX is finding that the interest is shifting to each company having its private exchange. For example, Ford buys its natural gas on an energy auction built by OMIX, but its energy broker, Kimball Resources only invites a small group of pre- approved energy suppliers to participate.

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT IS THE MOST PUBLICIZED form of B2B integration. It traditionally provides employees within a company a private E-Commerce site to buy office and other supplies. This helps automate much of the workflow involved in identifying, buying, consolidating and approving purchases. The catch with these tools is that there can be a lot custom integration required to connect to a supplier's catalog system and to the buyer's accounting systems. RosettaNet.com is a non-profit organization that can help this integration problem by standardizing the format of the XML links between a company and its vendors.

SIMPLE PERSONALIZATION can be done by identifying the Web site user (with a cookie) and looking in the database for a single parameter showing their purchase or viewing history. Then presenting only specific "Expert Opinions" Article links that are targeted to users with that "profile".

FOR QUESTIONS OR TO RECEIVE OMIX NEWS call Kyle Hurlbut, Jim Chabrier or Milla Milojkovic at 650-330-8950 or sales@omix.com