Istel’s EDI Services Division has made a series of announcements concerning its Electronic Data Interchange Service, Edict, the franchising of it for use abroad, and its installation as a corporate gateway for internal and external use. Istel claims a number of enhancements to Edict, possibly the most important of which is the incorporation of an […]
Istel’s EDI Services Division has made a series of announcements concerning its Electronic Data Interchange Service, Edict, the franchising of it for use abroad, and its installation as a corporate gateway for internal and external use. Istel claims a number of enhancements to Edict, possibly the most important of which is the incorporation of an X25 backbone, based on Bolt Beranek & Newman packet switches, into Istel’s existing Infotrac network. This enables Edict access to British Telecom’s internat-ional and domestic packet switching services, Mer-cury 5000, the IBM Information Network, and the worldwide Infonet and Telenet networks – Instel claims this will eventually lead to a full OSI X400 message passing interface to Edict. Where previ ously access was through the IBM 2780 and 3780 protocols, this can now be achieved through a leased X25 line, which is rather costly, or by a less expensive dial-up facility using asynchronous data. The other two enhancements to Edict are support for the US Electronic Data Interchange standard ANSI X12 – which is incidently not an ISObacked standard – in addition to Edict’s current support of Tradacoms and EDIFACT, and support for the OFTP file transfer protocol developed by Odette, the group set up to promote the use of Electronic Data Interchange in the European car industry. GEC Computer Services announced this week that it has paid an undisclosed sum of money to be supplied with Edict software for data commun-ication within the GEC Group and trading with ex-ternal customers and suppliers, with the Chelms ford, Essex-based Computer Services division effec-tively acting as a clearing house for GEC in the same way as Istel does for other Edict users. Meanwhile, presumably based on the conviction that Electronic Data Interchange will pose a threat to its future operations, An Post, the Irish Post Office, has taken a franchise on Edict and has based its PostEDI service, for link-up with one of its print suppliers and in the parcels sector, around it: this is said to be the first postal service application of Electronic Data Interchange. Paxus ComNet A similar franchise has been taken up by Paxus ComNet, which is contracted to carry out the Aus-tralian government’s plans for reform of its water-front community, in the attempt to improve the performance of Australia’s export sector. Trade-gate, which is also based on Edict software and supports the international EDIFACT standard, is intended to provide an Electronic Data Interchange service for various manufacturers, importers and exporters from November of this year, with the service eventually expanding into the air cargo sector. Despite these successes, and similar ones such as the Cable & Wireless Edict application in Hong Kong announced earlier this year, the data interchange division accounts for less than 5%, or UKP5m, of Redditch, Worcestershire-based Istel’s total annual turnover, although Istel says that deals to be announced shortly with two large European countries – but not either France or West Germany – will substantially improve this figure.
Earlier on this week, privately-held Istel’s shareholders voted to accept the proposal put for-ward last month for the acquisition of Istel’s business by AT&T Co, which will buy all the issued shares in Intel for a total UKP180m; Intel will be run as a separate concern within AT&T’s Internati-onal Communications Services division and will re-tain its existing name and its present management.