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
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.