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Critical Path to Provide Messaging for UK MoD

Internet messaging infrastructure provider Critical Path Inc. (Nasdaq:CPTH) Thursday (March 8) announced it is working with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young to provide key technology elements for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense's (MoD) new eBusiness service, the Defense Electronic Commerce Service (DECS).

Following a contract signed in the third quarter of last year, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young is implementing Critical Path's InJoin Directory solutions and InScribe Messaging Server within their Intelligent Infrastructure in order to develop DECS. DECS will be the portal between the MoD and its trading partner community, enabling the MoD to make the process of supporting its armed forces faster, more responsive, and less expensive.

DECS, based on Cap Gemini Ernst & Young's Network Resource Planning (NRP) design model, is the platform on which high availability, secure eBusiness services are delivered to the MoD and its trading partners. This architecture provides the members of the DECS community the means to safely and securely access authorized electronic information. It is designed to revolutionize the way the MoD buys goods and services from suppliers by providing trading partners with secure access to authorized electronic information within the DECS eBusiness system.

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young was selected last year by the MoD to design, build and manage its new eBusiness system. Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in turn selected Critical Path to provide the Internet messaging infrastructure for DECS because of Critical Path's proven ability to deliver the performance, reliability and scalable solutions a project of this magnitude demands.

Critical Path's InJoin Directory Server is a key element of the DECS intelligent infrastructure by serving as the central repository of user profile information for thousands of trading partners, while simultaneously managing hundreds of millions of transactions without compromising the performance of the system.

The InJoin Directory Server delivers industry leading performance by leveraging the Lightweight Directory Application Protocol (LDAP) for universal access, X.500 for proven scalability using distribution and replication; and a directory-specific object database for storing all types of business-critical information needed to organize an eBusiness environment such as DECS.

DECS will also use Critical Path's InJoin Meta-Directory to unify existing data from dissimilar databases, applications and directories into one 'meta-directory' that can be centrally managed as a unified resource. The ability to centrally manage dissimilar data will provide the MoD with accurate, up-to-date information on its trading partners and employees, including details on procedures and policies such as security certificates and Web access control lists, substantially reducing data management costs.

The MoD will leverage Critical Path's InScribe Messaging Server to facilitate the vast quantity of information exchange required to maintain its current levels of paper-based business transactions within the new electronic framework of DECS. Designed for speed, reliability and security, the InScribe Messaging Server is the most scalable and robust internal messaging solution in the industry. With full management capabilities and a flexible and extensible architecture, it can effectively meet the demands of millions of users.

"Leveraging the reliability, scalability and security of Critical Path's Internet messaging infrastructure with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young's Intelligent Infrastructure, will enable the MoD to transform a largely paper based system into a new electronic commerce service that dramatically reduces costs," said Rick Drury, DECS director, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. "DECS enables the Ministry of Defense to be a pioneering force for eBusiness within the UK Government and enables Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Critical Path t