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February 16, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Selectica Inc has enhanced its ACE online product configuration software and is offering new point products enabling users to develop additional advisory, pricing and quoting functions for their internet selling systems. ACE Advisor conducts a lifestyle analysis to match potential customers to products. On an auto seller’s web site for example, it might ask the visitor how many children under four the vehicle will need to accommodate (bench seats for children’s car seats), where the owner lives (state emission rules) and whether they like skiing/snowboarding (optional rack). ACE Pricer offers real-time pricing and includes support for multi-tier pricing and discounting programs. In addition to presenting final price quotes, ACE Quoter provides a quote repository, quote management and integrates with shopping carts and ERP applications. There’s a specific ACE Connector to Oracle now available which transfers quotes to Oracle’s order entry application. It doesn’t come cheap. The ACE Enterprise 3.0 suite is $150,000 per server plus $25,000 per development seat with the configuration engine, pricer and advisor. ACE Quoter costs from $150,000 per server. ACE Connector to Oracle is $150,000. Key customers are BMW – 10,000 user inquiries per day supported on three Windows NT servers – Allied Signal and Hewlett-Packard. It is also trying to tempt some key accounts such as Dell Computer and Compaq Computer. Dell uses home-grown configuration technology, Compaq has a mixture of systems, Selectica says. Selectica claims product deployment takes between eight and 12 weeks on average. It claims its constraint-based Java rules engine is more advanced than rival client/server products because of its multi-threaded features. Client/server systems spawn a new, and memory-hungry configuration engine for each new client inquiry. ACE doesn’t, Selectica says. Selectica’s key point product competition is Calico and Trilogy. It also counts systems integrators and ERP vendors as rivals, although it’s about win support from Electronic Data Systems which Selectica says will take professional services revenue from installing ACE, and Selectica will get the license revenue. It will enhance the suite with built-in reporting and analysis tools it is working on.

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