Cyclone Untangles Digital Partnerships

  • Written By: D. Geller
  • Published: April 19 2000


Event Summary

In the perfect world of e-commerce all of the partners in a large marketplace or supply chain would agree upon network, data, and security protocols. Even outside of that IT Utopia, traditional models like a hub-and-spoke network architecture make the management of protocols fairly simple; while the central hub has to match each of the other partners, two spoke partners don't have to match each other. However, as growing Internet marketplaces and extended supply chains rely more and more on a peer-to-peer architecture, more of the participants get involved in implementing and managing a variety of protocols.

Cyclone Commerce is a breath of fresh air to companies facing the problems resulting from this kind of growth. Its products manage and synchronize the various protocols in use between partners in the network. Cyclone takes responsibility both for the routing and security of all data transactions and for the tracking and coordination of the various protocols in use on the network as they change due to actions of individual partners.

The product is fully integrated with all the leading translation packages. In effect, Cyclone provides the network with all the advantages of a hub-and-spoke network without placing any of the data management problems of a typical hub on that company's IT department. Key features of its solutions are multiple encryption, transport, and messaging protocols and certificate management. Cyclone supports many of the emerging e-commerce standards such as cXML, BizTalk, RosettaNet, and CBL and runs on NT, Linux, and AS/400 platforms.

With the new release, the product is available as a hosted application under a subscription pricing model, as well as in the traditional licensed software model. The company maintains its own network operations center hosted at Frontier Global.

Market Impact

With more than one hundred customers, ranging from manufacturers like Anheuser-Busch through emerging dot-coms, and still flushed from the glow of a multi-million dollar partnership with Sterling Commerce in which Cyclone will provide the Internet data exchange technology for Sterling's NT-based family of solutions, it is clear that Cyclone has identified a real need.

As one of the first of its kind to blow into town, Cyclone has a good chance at carving out market share, especially among the telcos and marketplace enablers. While there are other companies involved in building data conversion utilities, they do not compete with Cyclone's core product. A closer competitor is IPNet Solutions, which also has protocol translation and management capabilities.

User Recommendations

Cyclone's best chance to turn huge profits may be by arrangements with vendors like Sterling that want to include Cyclone's technology with their own solutions. But there are at least two kinds of companies that might want to buy Cyclone's software or hosted solution.

Clearly a large company with many trading partners or many divisions could use Cyclone's products to manage their infrastructures. These companies will probably choose the licensed solution.

On the other hand, as private-label vertical marketplaces proliferate, these typically small companies will need to integrate their often smaller suppliers. None of these companies is likely to have the resources or staff needed to build even a traditional hub-and-spoke architecture. Therefore, they should welcome a solution like Cyclone's.

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