The direct-to-customer software marketplace is a mature industry whose current trends will mark its direction for the next few years. Though sales of DTC systems software slowed dramatically in 2001, the second half of 2002 saw more activity in terms of companies preparing requirements, systems demonstrations, and purchase agreements being signed. Companies that are considering upgrading or replacing their software need to decide whether to continue their own development or acquire a commercial system. The idea that direct-commerce firms can develop their own systems more cheaply than vendors and with more functionality than off-the-shelf programs is often a misperception.

The best-practice approach to selecting systems is as follows:

  • Appoint a selection team representing all user departments.
  • Plan strategically to determine the application growth and function that your operation is going to need.
  • Develop and specify your requirements.
  • Consider commercial packages versus internal systems development objectively to determine which approach will serve your company best.
  • Conduct multi-year studies of return on investment.
  • Select the system based on functions, financial viability, and how the vendor intends to enhance the application in the future.

Curt Barry is president of F. Curtis Barry & Company, a consultancy specializing in e-commerce and direct marketing operations and systems. He can be reached at 1897 Billingsgate Circle, Suite 102, Richmond, VA 23233; by phone at (804) 740-8743; or by e-mail at


CoLinear Systems Inc.
4343 Shallowford Road, Suite H-7
Marietta, GA 30062
Contact: Trish Lane, Account Executive
(800) 265-4632; Fax: (770) 643-0265
2003 enhancements: Additional telephony integration; customer self-service Web portal; merchandise planning module; light manufacturing
CoLinear users: National Allergy Supply, Wine of the Month Club, Crafts Americana Group

Dydacomp Development Corp.
11-D Commerce Way
Totowa, NJ 07512
Contact: Robert Coon, VP, Sales and Marketing
(800) 858-3666; Fax: (973) 237-9043
2003 enhancements: Advanced inventory features; enhanced point-of-sale functions; new integrated invoice/gift card/shipping labels
Dydacomp users: Fairytale Brownies, R.C. Bigelow Inc., Sportswave, Sportamerica, Scooterworks

Morgan CustomSoft Inc.
P.O. Box 441162
Marietta, GA 31060
Contact: Mark Morgan, President
(770) 422-1300; Fax: (866) 619-7698
2003 enhancements: Enhanced POS; Internet credit card processing; Web wireless warehouse management
Morgan CustomSoft users: ICM Corporation, ABDI International, Serv-U, Harrison — Hoge Industries

Morse Data Corporation
83 Washington St., Suite 404
Dover, NH 03820
Contact: Dan Cannon, VP, Sales
(603) 742-2500; Fax: (603) 742-8178
2003 enhancements: Enhancements to order entry, POS, and accounts payable
Morse Data users: BCI Eclipse,, Proliteracy Worldwide, U. of California

Rigden Inc. (not listed in chart)
3090 Sterling Circle, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301
Contact: James Jobson
(303) 442-8190, ext. 108; Fax: (303) 442-8686
2003 enhancements: Call for enhancements
Rigden users: Call for user list


Avexxis Corp.
30 Avon Meadow Lane
Avon, CT 06001
Contact: Larry Rocheleau, Manager of Business Development
(888) AVEXXIS; Fax: (860) 677-2176
2003 enhancements: Standard, corporate, and enterprise; executive dashboard; enhanced POS; new e-commerce module; enhanced reporting
Avexxis users: Vermont Teddy Bear, Federated Department Stores, The Wisconsin Cheeseman

Data Management Associates Inc.
4000 Executive Park Drive, Suite 101
Cincinnati, OH 45241
Contact: Larry Maher, VP, Sales and Marketing
(800) 660-1275; Fax: (513) 563-7301
2003 enhancements: Browser-based system; additional WMS interface; upgrade multi-location retail POS; latest developments available online
Data Management users: Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Lady Grace Stores,; Gardens Alive!

Datamann Inc.
P.O. Box 1930
1994 Hartford Avenue
Wilder, VT 05088
Contact: Andrew G. Warner, John E. Mann
(800) 451-4263; Fax: (802) 296-3623
2003 enhancements: File expansion to 130 weeks’ demand; order/dept./class/group upsell; PO template/return to vendor/clone/normal/blanket
Datamann users: Available upon request

Page Digital Inc.
6450 S. Revere Parkway
Englewood, CO 80111
Contact: Bonnie Hendry, Marketing Manager
(800) 569-1122; Fax: (303) 754-4995
2003 enhancements: Java-based GUI order entry and customer service module; Microsoft Server 2000/NT and HP 9000 version; Linux version Q4 2003
Page Digital users: IBM, Lands’ End Corporate Sales, FAO Schwarz, Michael’s Stores, Hershey

Sigma Micro
6720 Parkdale Place
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Contact: Al Langsenkamp, Chairman
(800) 227-4462; Fax: (317) 631-6585
2003 enhancements: Call for enhancements
Sigma Micro users: Sears, Roebuck & Co, L’Oreal, Johnston & Murphy, Lands’ End International

Terno & Associates Inc.
755 Boardman-Canfield Road, Suite N2
Boardman, OH 44512
Contact: Jeff Moliterno, President
(330) 629-7004; Fax: (330) 629-7585
2003 enhancements: Enhanced Web and continuity functions; improved GUI screens; call or go online for latest developments
Terno users: Chinaberry, Cuddledown of Maine, Into The Wind, Venus Swimwear, Wendell August Forge


Assist Cornerstone
57 West 200 South, Fifth Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Contact: Sean Skamnes, VP, Sales and Marketing
(800) 732-0136; Fax: (801) 355-7720
2003 enhancements: Enhanced analytics and forecasting; reverse logistics; CRM portal; Web-based reporting; Web licensing
Assist Cornerstone users: Alta Resources, Atkins Dietary Products, Mid America Direct


24 Prime Park Way, Cochituate Place
Natick, MA 01760
Contact: John Coskie, VP, Marketing and Sales
(508) 655-7500; Fax: (508) 647-9495
2003 enhancements: Rebranding of products to CW/Direct, CW/Integrate, etc.; POS/backoffice/headquarters module; e-mail repository module
CommercialWare users: Target Direct, Disney Direct, J. Jill, Abercrombie & Fitch, The U.S. Mint, Ritz Camera

Computer Solutions Inc.
6187 NW 167th Street, Suite H-33
Miami Lakes, FL 33317
Contact: Ernie Smith, Vice President
(305) 558-7000; Fax: (305) 557-0003
2003 enhancements: Direct500, a Windows-based software solution for mail order and catalog companies, created with Best Software
Computer Solution users: REI, U.S. Navy, Walter Drake, Gannett Direct Marketing, Price Costco

Ecometry Corporation
1615 South Congress Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33445-6368
Contact: Charlene Smith, Supervisor, Inside Sales
(561) 265-2700; Fax: (561) 454-4803
2003 enhancements: Voice integration; standard XML interfaces; inventory forecasting; new client interfaces; advanced warehouse automation
Ecometry users: Coldwater Creek,, Hickory Farms, Time-Life, Hammacher Schlemmer

Island Pacific
19800 MacArthur Boulevard, 12th Floor
Irvine, CA 92612
Contact: Jim Phillips
(949) 476-2212; Fax: (949) 476-0177
2003 enhancements: Call for enhancements
Island Pacific users: Smith & Hawken, Signet, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Figgins

Natural Solutions
8003 Castleway Drive, Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Contact: Tyce McIntosh, VP, Marketing
(317) 596-1215; Fax: (317) 596-1225
2003 enhancements: Light manufacturing module; expanded functionality within fulfillment; enterprise data query module
Natural Solutions users: Barton Cotton, Zoyto Inc., Corporate Services

Yantra Corporation
One Park West
Tewksbury, MA 01876
Contact: Joseph Vukson, Manager, Corporate Communications
(978) 513-6180; Fax: (978) 513-6006
2003 enhancements: Yantra will continue to advance its product suite in line with its vision for synchronized fulfillment management.
Yantra users: Best Buy, Hallmark, Target, Motorola, School Specialty Inc.

Company System Name Date Started Total Installations Computer Platform Operating Software Programming Language Database Software Total Staff Price for 15 Users Price for 50 Users Price for 100 Users Annual Maintenance Fee Warehouse Management System Interfaces Integrated E-Commerce Module Compatible Web Tools Used Manifesting System Interfaces Integrated Accounting Interfaces
Assist Cornerstone
Assist Commerce Suite
1987 57 IBM iSeries OS/400, Linux RPG400, Java DB2/400 38 Call for pricing 15%-18% of license Yes, have interfaces Yes Assist Webstore, WebSphere, Commerce Server 2000, Open APIs Varsity, Clippership, FedEx Powership Integrated module, open APIs
Avexxis Corp.
1986 27 Intel or Unix servers Windows NT or 2000, or various Unix platforms Informix IBM Universe RDBMS 16 $40,000 $150,000 $250,000-$300,000 Variable, client-defined No Yes IBM Redback, AW Webstore, MS VBScript and Jscript, APIs Clippership, Aristo, UPS, Worldship Own module
CoLinear Systems
1984 500+ Intel/Windowscompatible Windows Visual Dataflex Visual Basic MS SQL, Oracle 8 <$20,000 <$35,000 Call for pricing Basic $500/year; standard 18% of license Majure Data Systems Web connectivity kit APIs for generic integration UPS Worldship, FedEx, Pitney Bowes, Kewill/APSS, StarShip, Clippership, Tan Data Great Plains
1975 60 IBM iSeries OS/400, Data Mart runs on NT RPG400, Java DB2/400, Data Mart runs on SQL 70 Call for pricing 18% of license PkMS, EXE, LogPro, Catalyst, JDA, SVI, Manugistics, Dove Tree Man Man Yes WebSphere, Site Server, Blue Martini, BroadVision, Commerce Server 2000, Interworld, ATG Dynamo Tracer, Tandata, Pfastship, Aristo, Maxiship Own AR/AP, Lawson, PeopleSoft, Oracle, Great Plains
Computer Solutions Inc.
Order Power!
1979 95 iSeries AS/400 OS/400 RPG-ILE, Net.Data, Visual Basic, C DB2/400 30 $90,000 $150,000 $275,000 18% of base price Yes, have interfaces Yes Net.Data, IBM HTTP server LogisticsPro, Evcor, Tan Data, Pitney Bowes, Aristo, Powership, Kewill, Clippership Own module
Data Management Associates
1979 40 PC servers and RS/6000 Windows 2000, Unix and AIX IBM U2 Database Basic IBM U2 RDBMS 15 $70,000 $140,000 $240,000 15% of license fee PCC Lightning Pick System Yes NetFusion UPS Worldship, FedEx Powership, Kewill, Aristo, NeoPost Own module
Mail Order Software Plus (MOSP)
1975 50+ Unix, RS/6000 AIX Acu-Cobol NA 25 $60,000 $140,000 $250,000 18% of license fee Included in base Yes IIS, Apache, iPlanet All major carriers ABS
Mail Order Manager MOM V4.3
1983 5,000+ PC, PC networks Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP Visual FoxPro NA 45 $14,525 $33,850 $58,600 $399 base + $139 per station Not at this time Yes USPS, UPS, & others using Universal Shipping Interface Own AR & AP, Quickbooks, Peachtree, MAS90, Business Works, Soloman, Great Plains
Ecometry Corporation
Ecometry Commerce Suite
1988 345 UNIX and Windows HP-UX, Windows 2000 Java, C++, Visual Basic, COBOL SQL 2000, Oracle 250 $50,000 $130,000 $250,000 18% of license fee PkMS, IRMS, OPTUM Yes CGI, COM, XML FedEx, Airborne, UPS, RPS, USPS, CTC, Neopost GTS, Multiview, PeopleSoft, Oracle, Great Plains
Island Pacific 1977 14 AS/400, PC OS/400, NT LANSA 4GL case tool DB2/400 150 Call for pricing 11% of license fee No Yes IBM WebSphere, Commerce Suite Pfastship Own module
Morgan CustomSoft
1983 35 Pentium 3- and 4-class servers Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP Visual DataFlex V8.3 For client-server MS-SQL, DB2, Oracle, Pervasive SQL 7 $40,000 $90,000 $155,000 15% of license fee No Yes Can use any Web tools UPS Worldship, FedEx, Powership, Pitney Bowes, Shiptec Own AR, AP, GL
Morse Data Corp.
In Order
1975 52 Terminal servers, client/server networks Windows 2000 server, Windows XP/Me/98 Power Builder, XML SQL Server 15 $35,500 $94,000 $175,000 18% of license fee No Yes Visual InterDev FedEx Powership, UPS Worldwide, Clippership Own AR, AP, GL, Great Plains
Natural Solutions
Natural Order
1992 21 Open platform Microsoft NT Sybase Powerbuilder MS-SQL 20 $88,000 $138,000 $188,000 20% of license fee No Yes IIS, Com UPS Maxi-ship, UPS Online Pro, Aristo, Neopost Own module
Page Digital
synaro Advantage
1980 88 RS/6000, HP 9000, Windows NT, 2000 server, Linux AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Windows NT, 2000 server Java, C, Basic synaro Cache and/or Oracle 9i 75 Call for pricing Tiered pricing IRMS, IBM, LE Proprietary Systems Yes IBM WebSphere, BEA Weblogic UPS Online, FedEx Server, Kewill Own module, PeopleSoft, Oracle, Lawson
Sigma Micro
1982 143 IBM pSeries, Intel, HP9000 AIX, Linux, HP-UX, Windows 2000 Cobol, Visual Basic, C/ASP ODBC, SQL 61 $100,000 $150,000 $225,000 Tiered pricing Retek Yes MS Site Server, Guidance Solutions Kewill, Clippership, Aristo, UPS Worldship, FedEx, Pitney Bowes, Neopost ABS, PeopleSoft
Terno & Associates
1992 85 Unix, HP, IBM Unix, Linux, Windows NT, 2000 & XP Universe Basic Visual Basic Infomix Universe RDBMS 18 $55,000 $110,000 $195,000 12% of license fee or hourly Yes Yes APIs, Redback, MS Site Server Clippership, Aristo, UPS, FedEx, Airborne, USPS, Malvern Own module
Yantra 5x-Distributed Order Management
1995 30+ SUN, HP, IBM, Windows 2000 Unix, Solaris, HP-UX, IBM-AIX, Windows 2000 Java (J2EE Standards) Oracle, MS-SQL 200 Call for pricing 18% of license fee Yes, Yantra, Manhattan, EXE, Optum Yes IBM, BEA, BroadVision, Blue Martini FedEx Airborne, DHL, UPS No, APIs
Key: Installations may reflect total number of users on lifetime sales. Pricing includes hardware, software, peripherals, and third-party hardware and software, but not file conversion. “Interfaces to other vendors” reflect connectivity to other commercially available systems.
Note: Companies listed here are limited to those that provide a wide range of integrated functions across the categories of call center, warehousing, inventory management, merchandising, marketing, and the Internet.

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