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School Specialties Chooses Ironworks as E-Commerce Solution

Appleton, WI.-based School Specialties selected Ironside Technologies Inc.'s Ironworks as its e-commerce solution.

Ironside is a supplier of sell-side, business-to-business electronic commerce solutions for the mid-tier manufacturing and distribution market.

School Specialties said its e-commerce implementation will be introduced in two phases.

Phase one, known as ClassroomDirect.com, an online source for non-textbook education products, is now available to its entire customer base.

Phase two, SchoolSpecialties.com, will be an integrated, educational online mall, supported by School Specialties as the traditional anchor store and augmented by several speciality divisions that offer vertically focused products.

The SchoolSpecialties.com site will also provide non-commercial offerings, such as teaching aides, industry-related information, lesson plan assistance, educational forums and chat rooms. Phase two is expected to roll out by May 1, 1999.

Ironworks is a Java-based business-to-business e-commerce application, offering sub-second response time and 24/7 access to any host system. Ironside has partnered with Reston, Va.-based systems integrator Proxicom to implement and deploy the SchoolSpecialty.com e-commerce solution.

"Ironside is the foundation of our online educational mall strategy," said Daniel Spaulding, School Specialties' chairman and CEO. "Perhaps the greatest critical success factor for this initiative is affording our customers real- time integration to the host system and self-evident ease-of-use."

School Specialties is a supplier of non-textbook education products to educators in the United States, operating from 14 facilities. It offers more than 60,000 unique products to more than 108,000 schools.