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May 15, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:02pm

WEB EDI FIRM HARBINGER HEADS FOR EUROPE

By CBR Staff Writer

Atlanta, Georgia-based Harbinger Corp is aiming to lever its way into the European market with the release of a suite of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) products which are internet enabled. The company is offering its IVAS Internet Value Added Server as a way of providing value added network-like services through the internet, from its US base and from European bases in the Netherlands and Germany. Harbinger supplies the server-side software to support end-user electronic commerce applications over the internet, tailoring the software to particular industries. Included are web design tools, document management and encryption software. Customers can either rely on Harbinger to host the service, buy a Hewlett-Packard Co HP9000 server with the software bundled in to host it themselves, or do a mixture of both. Client trading partners can then access the system through standard web browsers and Java applets, a far cheaper option compared with traditional systems. There are two configurations: web-based EDI, for trading clients with lower transaction volumes; and Internet-based EDI for clients regularly exchanging business documents. Software licenses range from $500,000 to $1.5m, up-front or spread over several quarters. Harbinger, which has 38,000 US companies signed up for its proprietary value added network products, is now moving fast to get into the internet arena. In January, it acquired Ann Arbor, Michigen-based Supply Tech Inc, another EDI provider for around $10m, in order to get its hands on its Internet-enabled products. The year before, Harbinger acqured two European EDI companies: NTEX Holding BV of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and INOVIS GmbH of Karlsruhe, Germany, and will use their existing bases to sell its products in Europe. The company hopes to reap 20% of its projected $87m revenues from Europe this year, and expects to make a further acquisition in France. Harbinger chief executive officer David Leach sees the corporate electronic commerce market as one ready to expand. It’s like the fax machine, once 5% of companies had them, every company needed one to maintain a competitive edge, he said. The company hopes its aggressive move into Europe will help it gain ground on its larger competitor, Rockville, Maryland-based GE Information Systems International Inc, owned by General Electric Co.

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