RealTime IT News

Vignette Offers Syndication Server

Vignette Corp. Tuesday delivered its Vignette Syndication Server (VSS), calling it the industry's first server for building automated trading networks between affiliated online businesses.

VSS, compatible with the Information & Content Exchange (ICE) specification, is designed to enable businesses to distribute their electronic goods and services beyond their individual Web sites through a network of reseller, affiliate, and partner Web sites, or "customer chains."

Companies that leverage VSS will be able to establish super-distribution networks that result in extended online reach and increased Web-based revenue opportunities, Vignette said. VSS addresses Web-based syndication needs including affiliate management, syndicated offer management, automated digital product reception and deployment, and the creation of built-to-order digital products.

Vignette also offers version 4 of its StoryServer application for building and managing business-to-customer relationships on individual sites and VSS for building and managing business-to-business automated trading networks on the Web.

"With StoryServer 4, Vignette offered Web businesses the ability to manage customer relationships that convert visitors into long-term customers," said Ross Garber, chairman of Vignette. "VSS addresses distribution management, the next big requirement for Internet relationship management, which is as important as content or site management."

"VSS will now allow these companies to strategically target more prospects, through the customer chains of networked affiliates, for broader distribution of their digital products and online information," he said.

VSS places a business' electronic content on third-party affiliated Web sites, allowing it to build distribution networks that present its products directly to the online audiences of the affiliated sites--audiences that would not regularly visit the business' site. Some of the applications for VSS include retail banking, online reseller distribution and editorial content distribution, Vignette said.

One of the first customers is TheStreet.com, an online financial news and investment publication that builds its subscriber base in part by syndicating portions of its financial news and commentary to various portal sites and online services. Syndication agreements with Yahoo!, America Online, ABCnews.com, Quicken.com, and other companies allow TheStreet.com to reach far beyond its current paid subscriber base of 20,000.

"Vignette Syndication Server's ability to automate our content exchange with affiliates represents the (automation) of a time-consuming process that we once had to do on an ad hoc basis without the benefit of a standard approach," said Dan Woods, chief technology officer of TheStreet.com. "It will allow us to concentrate on our core business, which is providing compelling content for investors. We are also pleased that, from a publishing standpoint, VSS will encourage the use of XML as a standard, which will enable real-time maintenance of Web sites."

General availability is scheduled for the first quarter of 1999. Pricing starts at approximately $50,000.