The Phoenix platform is customizable and extensible.
E-commerce solutions provider LaGarde is releasing its Phoenix Platform, a
.Net-based software-as-a-service e-commerce platform.
"The days of running e-commerce as a silo are over," said Bob
LaGarde, company founder and chairman. "Anybody seriously running
e-commerce is running it as part of a whole e-business system."
LaGarde said Phoenix, which was
announced June 3, functions as a Web-based transaction system that performs
roles including order management, catalog management, checkout and back-office
tasks. He said Phoenix was designed
to handle the unique business methodologies and characteristics of midmarket
enterprises while remaining relatively easy to maintain.
"There is an issue of maintainability," LaGarde said. "For a
number of years, we provided a solution with a high degree of customization.
But that becomes hard to maintain, as custom solutions tend to become one-off
solutions that take a longer time to deploy."
To avoid this problem, he said, his company is providing Phoenix
as an end-to-end, modular solution that can be expanded without developing
"islands of one-off solutions."
He continued, "It is a robust, modularized e-commerce platform with a
rich Web services layer for extensibility. ... It can be customized and
integrated without creating a one-off system."
LaGarde said the systems architecture is the primary driver for Phoenix
and that it includes a retail-specific feature set.
"For example, there is a sophisticated catalog engine that allows you
to support scheduled catalogs," he said. "You can go live with a
seasonal catalog on a certain date and then expire it on a certain date and
launch the next season's catalog without having to redevelop the entire
LaGarde said the platform also includes a rich shipping engine and is fully
compliant with PCI (Payment Card Industry) data security standards.
Lance Hemingway, chief marketing officer of LaGarde, cited the attachment of
services and knowledge that comes with Phoenix,
such as the ability to market across multiple channels and perform SEO (search
engine optimization) marketing, as another essential feature of the solution.
A benchmark report released by research company Aberdeen Group in December
2006 indicates that online retailers expect e-commerce solutions to flexibly
meet their complex needs and quickly provide a return on investment.
"The online Business to Consumer (B2C) marketplace is increasingly
impatient, which is a reflection on the pressures merchants feel from their
customers," the report stated. "Retailers want instant gratification
and ROI in typically less than six months. Twenty-one percent of retailers
expect to see revenue results from their online tools within weeks."
Dan Berthiaume covers
the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.