HERNDON, VA – ePlus inc. (Nasdaq NM: PLUS – news) announced that a United States patent has been issued and assigned to ePlus for the electronic cross-catalog searching capabilities developed for Content+ and Procure+, the company’s comprehensive eCatalog production and content management system. Content+ aids in the implementation of electronic procurement and other enterprise cost management initiatives by automating the process of cleansing, classifying and maintaining data from disparate supplier catalogs.
The Patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,505,172), entitled “Electronic Sourcing System,” covers ePlus’ technology for searching multiple catalogs from different suppliers simultaneously, checking inventory availability, and transferring information on selected items to generate purchase orders in an eProcurement, purchasing, ERP, or accounting system
The cross-catalog searches enabled by Content+ expedite purchasing by eliminating the need to examine each vendor catalog individually. They also facilitate product and price comparisons by allowing data retrieved from all catalogs to be displayed on a single screen.
“In any spend management initiative from eProcurement to strategic sourcing, it is imperative to have all data from multiple sources at one’s fingertips,” said Ken Farber, President of ePlus Content Services. “Efficient cross-catalog searching is therefore a vital component in the process, whether you’re trying to determine which vendor has the best price or which suppliers should be approached for volume discounts.”
Other advanced capabilities of Content+ include a Common Language Generator that automates the translation of plain text descriptions into enriched, parametrically searchable items; a knowledge base of over 250,000 pattern matching rules and 44,000 categories for product classification; the ability to accommodate special rules and classes to match each company’s business processes; and automatic delta analysis of catalog updates to identify new products and other text changes. These and other features make it possible to create and manage online catalogs quickly and cost-effectively.
The Patent is the third patent in ePlus’ repository of intellectual property and may provide ePlus with protection to systems developed after Aug. 10, 1994, the filing date of the first patent. The Patent, issued January 7, 2003, and U.S. Patent No. 6,055,516, issued Apr. 25, 2000, extend until 2014, and U.S. Patent No. 6,023,683, issued Feb. 8, 2000, extends until 2017. Similar protection has been granted to ePlus’ technology in nine European countries: Belgium, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. Patents applications are pending in Canada and Japan.
More information about Content+ is available at www.eplus.com/content_plus/index.shtml.