Octopus Ushers in New Class of Solutions for the Extended Enterprise: Revolutionary Meta Applications Multiply Enterprise Application ROI

Meta Applications Solve Rapidly Changing Information Challenges Beyond

The Scope of Enterprise Applications and Web Services



Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Octopus, Inc.

    PALO ALTO, Calif., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Octopus, Inc., today unveiled
 its extensible platform for building Meta Applications, a revolutionary new
 class of applications that meets today's business challenge of quickly
 garnering relevant, fine-grained data from disparate enterprise applications,
 legacy systems, data marts, intranets and Internet sources. The Octopus
 Platform features a flexible interface that non-technical users can employ to
 intuitively build, customize and share "Views" of essential information for
 specific business processes and tasks. Octopus intelligently integrates data
 on the fly, based on the user's requirements. Knowledge workers can instantly
 personalize their Octopus Views to access previously unavailable combinations
 of information at the point of need, making them more insightful, more
 responsive and better prepared to capitalize on changing market conditions. By
 extracting latent value from existing technology, Octopus vastly multiplies
 the return on investments companies have already made in their applications
 and systems.
     Through innovative use of standards such as XML and J2EE, the
 patent-pending Octopus smart-client, smart-server architecture is highly
 secure and scales to more than one billion transactions per day. Octopus
 features a unique, non-invasive design that runs a level above the existing,
 hard-wired enterprise software infrastructure. It deploys quickly and
 cost-effectively into enterprise environments, avoiding costly back-end
 integration work and maintaining the security of mission-critical systems. And
 Octopus' ability to seamlessly incorporate other standards, such as SOAP and
 UDDI, make it an ideal platform for leveraging the burgeoning portfolio of
 available Web services.
     "Octopus has fundamentally re-invented the concept of enterprise
 information access and integration," said Steve Douty, Octopus' President and
 Chief Executive Officer. "Now, with real-time control over the flow of
 information, companies can break free of the operating constraints of
 monolithic enterprise applications and continuously adapt their business
 processes to rapidly changing market conditions."
 
     Meta Applications Streamline Business Processes
     The biggest information challenge facing corporations today is that
 important data is distributed across disparate enterprise, Internet and
 partner sources. According to the Meta Group (no affiliation with Octopus or
 Meta Applications), the average enterprise is trying to integrate
 approximately 50 major solutions at the application or database level. A
 best-of-breed application mix, mergers and acquisitions and lingering legacy
 systems have created a Hydra of information assets. The complexity grows as
 businesses also seek to tie their systems with those of suppliers and
 partners. Add to this an array of Web-based applications and new XML-based Web
 services, and it becomes increasingly difficult to harvest the business value
 locked into each of these systems, let alone make them work together. As a
 result, business processes are inefficient and valuable information assets
 languish unused.
     Combining the advantages of EAI systems, enterprise portals and business
 intelligence solutions, Octopus closes the gap between business-critical
 information and the knowledge workers who use it. Meta Applications reduce
 hours of searching across a multitude of data sources to minutes of reviewing
 a single, easy-to-use browser screen. Business professionals who previously
 had to choose between being either well informed or quickly responsive to
 customer demands now have access to data that would otherwise be prohibitively
 time-consuming to gather and synthesize.
 
     A Suite of Octopus Applications
     The Octopus Platform rolls out with a suite of three functionally-rich
 applications that optimize user productivity in high-touch customer-care
 environments.
 
     -- Octopus Customer Service Application
     -- Octopus Customer Portal Application
     -- Octopus Sales Application
 
     The Octopus Platform also allows simple, rapid custom-application
 development to meet any variety of business requirements.
 
     Standard & Poor's Chooses Octopus to Deliver Personalized Information
     Standard & Poor's, a leading provider of financial data and investment
 analysis will incorporate Octopus software into Advisor Insight, its Web-based
 platform for investment advisors and brokers.
     "In response to customer requests for a way to easily customize the rich
 content available to them on our Advisor Insight Web site, we searched the
 marketplace for the most flexible tool we could find to add value to our
 product," said Ken Ennis, Vice President and General Manager of Retail
 Brokerage at Standard & Poor's. "With Octopus we are able to offer both client
 firms and the individual financial advisors in those firms the flexibility
 they need to personalize, easily and quickly, Standard & Poor's highly valued
 content. Octopus gives them the ability to drag and drop pieces of content to
 create customized Web pages. This addition enables financial advisors to save
 time locating the S&P research, commentary and analysis that best suits their
 needs. The end result is that they are that much more efficient at servicing
 their individual-investor clients."
 
     Octopus Maximizes Application ROI, Minimizes the Burden on IT
     The Octopus Platform is an extensible framework that transforms inflexible
 silos of information into adaptive, highly-interoperable information assets,
 thereby maximizing the return on system and software investments. IT
 organizations can quickly add new data sources to their Octopus Applications,
 such as the new information assets brought forth by a corporate merger or
 powerful new Web services. Once the IT staff installs the necessary adapters,
 business users are free to modify and create Meta Applications that precisely
 fit their requirements, without creating new projects for IT.
 
     Meta Applications Deliver Essential Information at the Point of Need
     Meta Applications make customer-facing personnel more insightful and more
 responsive. Using Octopus Sales, for example, a sales representative can see
 all of his or her company's interactions with important prospects within a
 single, customizable View. The sales rep simply calls up a published Octopus
 Sales View, enters the customer name and reviews all the information for the
 task at hand, including:  order history and receivables pulled from the
 company's ERP application; current sales opportunities, support history and
 contact names from various CRM applications; proposals and presentations
 polled from Microsoft Exchange; company profile information from online
 subscriptions such as Dun & Bradstreet; and up-to-date news, press coverage
 and announcements culled from a variety of Internet sites. If the rep needs
 additional information, he or she can simply drag and drop in additional data
 elements from the Octopus catalog. The rep can then share the personalized
 information with a colleague by simply sending an e-mail with a URL link, or
 can publish the View to the entire sales force at the click of a button.
     "Octopus' breakthrough Meta Application technology takes browser
 functionality to the next level, creating a new realm of enterprise
 application effectiveness," said Marc Andreessen, co-founder of both Netscape
 and Loudcloud. "It delivers on the vision of the browser as a universal
 interface that lets business professionals access all the information assets
 they need, whether those assets are inside the company, out on the Internet,
 or contained within the systems of industry partners."
     An Octopus Application is a set of templates designed around the diverse
 tasks required of a business function or role. Business experts, such as
 customer service managers, can easily modify each template to meet their
 unique needs, without requiring the involvement of IT. They can quickly adapt
 Octopus Applications to accommodate internal and external changes, such as
 evolving business processes and emerging market opportunities. This frees the
 IT team to focus on maintaining and enhancing mission-critical production and
 transaction systems.
 
     Universal Access to Enterprise and Web Information
     The Octopus Platform launches with pre-built adapters that provide access
 to enterprise applications -- such as Siebel 2000, Microsoft Exchange 2000 and
 SAP-as well as more than 500 Web-based information sources-such as Moreover
 and CNET. Octopus adapters link Meta Applications to a wide variety of data
 sources, such as CRM solutions, ERP applications, financial systems, data
 marts, EAI solutions, legacy systems and Web resources. Octopus and its
 Integration Partners can quickly build additional adapters for less common
 data sources, such as legacy systems and less popular commercial applications.
 
     Availability
     The Octopus Platform and Octopus Applications are available today for U.S.
 customers.
 
     About Octopus
     Octopus represents the vanguard of a revolutionary new class of solutions
 for the extended enterprise, called Meta Applications. Meta Applications are
 flexible, functionally rich solutions that allow corporations, their customers
 and their partners to fully leverage their enterprise and Internet information
 assets. The company is led by an executive team that brings world-class
 experience in enterprise software and Internet technologies from such industry
 leaders as Microsoft, Oracle, Baan and Clarify. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of
 both Netscape and Loudcloud, joined Octopus as a board member in May 2000. The
 company has won numerous awards for its patent-pending technology, including
 "Best of Show" at Upside's Internet Showcase, "Top 50 Private Companies for
 2000" by Red Herring magazine, one of Fortune magazine's thirteen
 "Cool Companies," and "Investor's Choice" at Internet Outlook 2000. For more
 information, visit www.octopus.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X67287736
 
 

SOURCE Octopus, Inc.
    PALO ALTO, Calif., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Octopus, Inc., today unveiled
 its extensible platform for building Meta Applications, a revolutionary new
 class of applications that meets today's business challenge of quickly
 garnering relevant, fine-grained data from disparate enterprise applications,
 legacy systems, data marts, intranets and Internet sources. The Octopus
 Platform features a flexible interface that non-technical users can employ to
 intuitively build, customize and share "Views" of essential information for
 specific business processes and tasks. Octopus intelligently integrates data
 on the fly, based on the user's requirements. Knowledge workers can instantly
 personalize their Octopus Views to access previously unavailable combinations
 of information at the point of need, making them more insightful, more
 responsive and better prepared to capitalize on changing market conditions. By
 extracting latent value from existing technology, Octopus vastly multiplies
 the return on investments companies have already made in their applications
 and systems.
     Through innovative use of standards such as XML and J2EE, the
 patent-pending Octopus smart-client, smart-server architecture is highly
 secure and scales to more than one billion transactions per day. Octopus
 features a unique, non-invasive design that runs a level above the existing,
 hard-wired enterprise software infrastructure. It deploys quickly and
 cost-effectively into enterprise environments, avoiding costly back-end
 integration work and maintaining the security of mission-critical systems. And
 Octopus' ability to seamlessly incorporate other standards, such as SOAP and
 UDDI, make it an ideal platform for leveraging the burgeoning portfolio of
 available Web services.
     "Octopus has fundamentally re-invented the concept of enterprise
 information access and integration," said Steve Douty, Octopus' President and
 Chief Executive Officer. "Now, with real-time control over the flow of
 information, companies can break free of the operating constraints of
 monolithic enterprise applications and continuously adapt their business
 processes to rapidly changing market conditions."
 
     Meta Applications Streamline Business Processes
     The biggest information challenge facing corporations today is that
 important data is distributed across disparate enterprise, Internet and
 partner sources. According to the Meta Group (no affiliation with Octopus or
 Meta Applications), the average enterprise is trying to integrate
 approximately 50 major solutions at the application or database level. A
 best-of-breed application mix, mergers and acquisitions and lingering legacy
 systems have created a Hydra of information assets. The complexity grows as
 businesses also seek to tie their systems with those of suppliers and
 partners. Add to this an array of Web-based applications and new XML-based Web
 services, and it becomes increasingly difficult to harvest the business value
 locked into each of these systems, let alone make them work together. As a
 result, business processes are inefficient and valuable information assets
 languish unused.
     Combining the advantages of EAI systems, enterprise portals and business
 intelligence solutions, Octopus closes the gap between business-critical
 information and the knowledge workers who use it. Meta Applications reduce
 hours of searching across a multitude of data sources to minutes of reviewing
 a single, easy-to-use browser screen. Business professionals who previously
 had to choose between being either well informed or quickly responsive to
 customer demands now have access to data that would otherwise be prohibitively
 time-consuming to gather and synthesize.
 
     A Suite of Octopus Applications
     The Octopus Platform rolls out with a suite of three functionally-rich
 applications that optimize user productivity in high-touch customer-care
 environments.
 
     -- Octopus Customer Service Application
     -- Octopus Customer Portal Application
     -- Octopus Sales Application
 
     The Octopus Platform also allows simple, rapid custom-application
 development to meet any variety of business requirements.
 
     Standard & Poor's Chooses Octopus to Deliver Personalized Information
     Standard & Poor's, a leading provider of financial data and investment
 analysis will incorporate Octopus software into Advisor Insight, its Web-based
 platform for investment advisors and brokers.
     "In response to customer requests for a way to easily customize the rich
 content available to them on our Advisor Insight Web site, we searched the
 marketplace for the most flexible tool we could find to add value to our
 product," said Ken Ennis, Vice President and General Manager of Retail
 Brokerage at Standard & Poor's. "With Octopus we are able to offer both client
 firms and the individual financial advisors in those firms the flexibility
 they need to personalize, easily and quickly, Standard & Poor's highly valued
 content. Octopus gives them the ability to drag and drop pieces of content to
 create customized Web pages. This addition enables financial advisors to save
 time locating the S&P research, commentary and analysis that best suits their
 needs. The end result is that they are that much more efficient at servicing
 their individual-investor clients."
 
     Octopus Maximizes Application ROI, Minimizes the Burden on IT
     The Octopus Platform is an extensible framework that transforms inflexible
 silos of information into adaptive, highly-interoperable information assets,
 thereby maximizing the return on system and software investments. IT
 organizations can quickly add new data sources to their Octopus Applications,
 such as the new information assets brought forth by a corporate merger or
 powerful new Web services. Once the IT staff installs the necessary adapters,
 business users are free to modify and create Meta Applications that precisely
 fit their requirements, without creating new projects for IT.
 
     Meta Applications Deliver Essential Information at the Point of Need
     Meta Applications make customer-facing personnel more insightful and more
 responsive. Using Octopus Sales, for example, a sales representative can see
 all of his or her company's interactions with important prospects within a
 single, customizable View. The sales rep simply calls up a published Octopus
 Sales View, enters the customer name and reviews all the information for the
 task at hand, including:  order history and receivables pulled from the
 company's ERP application; current sales opportunities, support history and
 contact names from various CRM applications; proposals and presentations
 polled from Microsoft Exchange; company profile information from online
 subscriptions such as Dun & Bradstreet; and up-to-date news, press coverage
 and announcements culled from a variety of Internet sites. If the rep needs
 additional information, he or she can simply drag and drop in additional data
 elements from the Octopus catalog. The rep can then share the personalized
 information with a colleague by simply sending an e-mail with a URL link, or
 can publish the View to the entire sales force at the click of a button.
     "Octopus' breakthrough Meta Application technology takes browser
 functionality to the next level, creating a new realm of enterprise
 application effectiveness," said Marc Andreessen, co-founder of both Netscape
 and Loudcloud. "It delivers on the vision of the browser as a universal
 interface that lets business professionals access all the information assets
 they need, whether those assets are inside the company, out on the Internet,
 or contained within the systems of industry partners."
     An Octopus Application is a set of templates designed around the diverse
 tasks required of a business function or role. Business experts, such as
 customer service managers, can easily modify each template to meet their
 unique needs, without requiring the involvement of IT. They can quickly adapt
 Octopus Applications to accommodate internal and external changes, such as
 evolving business processes and emerging market opportunities. This frees the
 IT team to focus on maintaining and enhancing mission-critical production and
 transaction systems.
 
     Universal Access to Enterprise and Web Information
     The Octopus Platform launches with pre-built adapters that provide access
 to enterprise applications -- such as Siebel 2000, Microsoft Exchange 2000 and
 SAP-as well as more than 500 Web-based information sources-such as Moreover
 and CNET. Octopus adapters link Meta Applications to a wide variety of data
 sources, such as CRM solutions, ERP applications, financial systems, data
 marts, EAI solutions, legacy systems and Web resources. Octopus and its
 Integration Partners can quickly build additional adapters for less common
 data sources, such as legacy systems and less popular commercial applications.
 
     Availability
     The Octopus Platform and Octopus Applications are available today for U.S.
 customers.
 
     About Octopus
     Octopus represents the vanguard of a revolutionary new class of solutions
 for the extended enterprise, called Meta Applications. Meta Applications are
 flexible, functionally rich solutions that allow corporations, their customers
 and their partners to fully leverage their enterprise and Internet information
 assets. The company is led by an executive team that brings world-class
 experience in enterprise software and Internet technologies from such industry
 leaders as Microsoft, Oracle, Baan and Clarify. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of
 both Netscape and Loudcloud, joined Octopus as a board member in May 2000. The
 company has won numerous awards for its patent-pending technology, including
 "Best of Show" at Upside's Internet Showcase, "Top 50 Private Companies for
 2000" by Red Herring magazine, one of Fortune magazine's thirteen
 "Cool Companies," and "Investor's Choice" at Internet Outlook 2000. For more
 information, visit www.octopus.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X67287736
 
 SOURCE  Octopus, Inc.