WSJ writes about how Wal-mart’s customers interact with it:
more than 98% of Wal-Mart’s EDI exchanges with suppliers are done over the Internet using AS2, a software package from Isoft Corp., Dallas, that suppliers must purchase and install if they wish to continue selling to the chain. (The package can cost as little as $300 if the supplier wishes to connect with only Wal-Mart but can cost six figures for links to more than 100 companies.)
“The purpose of the conversion was to provide a cheaper, faster and more accurate method for our current suppliers to connect with us,” Wal-Mart said. AS2 also secures the EDI exchanges over the Internet.
Isoft says sales for its AS2 software have increased 900% in the past year, and it now has more than 1,000 custo..Isoft’s competitors include Cyclone Commerce Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz. The rise of these companies and their business-to-business Internet technologies threatens the traditional EDI heavyweights, which provide third-party transmission network.
Perhaps, similar ideas could be used to build the SME Trade Information Marketplace.