Inovis Unveils Unified E-Business Product Line
January 4, 2005 Alex Woodie
When Inovis bought IP Net Solutions, in 2003, it was viewed as a good acquisition–and it was. With its roots in the old Harbinger company, Inovis had its strength in traditional EDI translation, while IPNet Solutions complemented that with software that helps move EDI messages securely over new IP pipes. But it wasn’t until the introduction of BizManager 3.0 last month that Inovis finished the job of integrating the two product lines.
Atlanta-based Inovis was founded in 2002 from the remnants of Peregrine Systems’ EDI software business, which Peregrine had acquired from Harbinger. In August 2003, Inovis acquired its close business partner, Southern California’s IPNet Solutions, which developed BizManager, a product that allows companies to manage and execute business transactions securely over the Internet. In the year leading up to that acquisition, the two companies had entered into more than 150 client engagements together, particularly for the burgeoning market for AS2 (EDI/INT) transport, Inovis said at the time.
Analysts hailed the acquisition as a positive move for Inovis. Giving traditional EDI customers the capability to add more advanced e-business capabilities, such as AS2 and other new technologies, was seen as the right move as the industry moved slowly toward adopting collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR) techniques and technologies. With new requirements being foisted on the industry, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) and UCCnet, that acquisition looks even more strategic today, because, for many companies, existing EDI mappings made with products like Inovis’ TrustedLink will become the foundation on top of which new CPFR-enabling technologies will be based. Inovis knows this and is well-positioned to capitalize on it.
With the release of BizManager 3.0, Inovis has taken a very big step toward fulfilling the promise of a united Inovis/IPNet Solutions product suite. “Until recently, we offered a loose integration between the two products, BizConnect and TLW/TLi [TrustedLink for Windows and TrustedLink for iSeries],” says Sophie Leguillette, Inovis product manager. “The difference today is that we extracted code from an Inovis transformation engine and fully integrated it in BizManager.”
Uniting the EDI translation (TrustedLink) and connectivity (BizManager) components provides several benefits to the user, Leguillette explains. For one, users no longer must license separate products, most likely from two different vendors, and there is a single vendor supporting the unified product, with one upgrade path instead of two. Additionally, the user only has one interface to look at, and only one product to learn.
BizManager 3.0 started shipping December 17. The OS/400 version of BizManager, called BizManager400, is also available. The company refused to provide details about its pricing, only saying it is “competitively priced for the market we serve.” For more information, go to www.inovis.com.