Computer Business Review


by CBR Staff Writer| 17 May 1996

NEC Corp and Business@Web Inc of Cambridge, Massachusetts have announced an alliance for joint development of corporateware for the Internet-intranet applications environment. Part of their alliance involves the transformation of NEC's StarOffice corporateware application into StarEnterprise, using Business@Web's object component development and operation technologies. In April, NEC also invested $1m in Business@Web, which will be used for working capital, according to vice- president John Burke, who made the announcement with NEC executives in Tokyo. Business@Web is part of the Cambridge Techno-logy Inc group of companies set up to develop Massachusetts Institute of Technology's technology under steward-ship of Professor John Donovan. NEC's subsidiary on the East Coast, NEC Technologies, has been working with Business@Web on the project since October 1995. Both companies will use the product for drumming up system integration business, both in Japan, the US and inter- nationally. Star Enterprise will be two-byte-enabled to make possible translation not only into Japan-ese but other two- byte languages. According to Burke, the trend in the US is to try to control costs stemming from operations outside the company; interactive communication via the Internet, with outside customers or suppliers, is one way to achieve this. Use of StarEnterprise, to develop a Presentation Layer between the outside and existing mainline applications, can considerably cut development time and costs as well. NEC showed a demonstration in which a customer ordered traditional summer gifts via an Internet interface that was linked with an existing application in the company to process and ship the order. NEC will be demonstrating the product at the Business Show 96 Tokyo which starts this week. It says it expects installation at 5,000 sites over the next three years.

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