CNET Channel Launches ChannelOnline 4.4 Release

Thu, 05/25/2006

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. May 26, 2006 -- CNET Channel, a property of CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET), is pleased to announce our latest version of ChannelOnline goes live today! The 4.4 release continues CNET Channel's ongoing efforts to make significant improvements to the core ChannelOnline product -- introducing a new "Company Purchase Approval System" and and delivering Supplier Management, Product Management and Quote Management functionality and process enhancements.

These key enhancements include:
  • CPAS (Company Purchase Approval System)
  • Color Schemes
  • Category Menu in Left Column
  • Custom Domain Name Option
  • Bell Microproducts Real-time Price & Availability
  • Ingram Micro Auto-fulfill PO Improvements
  • SYNNEX Improvements
  • Tech Data Improvements
  • Shipping Comments (Special Instructions)
  • Custom Items Limit Increased to 50,000
  • Search Engine Improvements
  • 'In Stock Only' Option for Product Search Results
  • Follow Up Date on Sales Documents
  • Customer & Contact Notes


CPAS (Company Purchase Approval System) - Additional Subscription Required
CPAS is an online procurement system you can provide your customers through your ChannelOnline store. With CPAS you empower your customers with the ability to setup buyers and employees with spend and usage limits, route company orders through customized approval hierarchies and ultimately make doing business with you easier than ever.

If you have customers that require purchasing rules and spend limits in order to do business with your company, or you want to ensure you are providing the same tools as your bigger competitors, CPAS is the solution.

CPAS subscriptions are sold per customer account regardless of the number of employees or buyers at the customer account.

We are offering an introductory discount of 50% for CPAS subscriptions added by to your account by August 31, 2006. The introductory discount will apply to the remainder of your annual subscription as long as you subscribe by August 31, 2006.

During this introductory period we will be gathering your feedback, as well as any feedback you pass on from your customers, in order to make feature improvements for Phase II of CPAS that is scheduled for Q1/2007.

Please contact your ChannelOnline sales representative at 877.276.5560 for additional information and introductory subscription fees.

Color Schemes
Ability to change the color scheme for various elements on the store. This will give you better control to reflect your company branding.

Category Menu in Left Column
The category / sub-category navigation menu will move from the top of the page to the left column of the store page when using Featured Products functionality.

Custom Domain Name Option - Setup fee and additional monthly fee apply
This optional service allows you to host your web domain (such as on the ChannelOnline servers, so that your customers see instead of This enables you to simplify your branding efforts and will eliminate the need to frame your store, if the only reason you are doing so is to hide the hosting by ChannelOnline.


Bell Microproducts Real-time Price & Availability
Support for Bell Microproducts real time cost & availability information. If you have Bell Microproducts active, your existing supplier credentials will automatically work for the real-time price & warehouse availability feed.

Ingram Micro Auto-fulfill PO Improvements
  • Support for end customer information for Gov/Ed orders.
  • New dropdown on PO to support multiple billing accounts. For example, you can now setup and select from your accounts with terms, flooring, leasing, etc.
  • Supplier Review / On Hold" option when sending electronic PO. Selecting this option causes the order to go on 'sales review' at Ingram.
  • Line item notes are now sent to Ingram. Line item notes can be used in conjunction with Supplier Review / On Hold if desired to send information to your Ingram sales rep.
  • Document level tracking numbers are available immediately upon receipt of the shipping status update from Ingram. Line item specific tracking numbers are allocated when that information is received from Ingram, which is generally within 24 hours of shipping. Serial numbers are immediately available at the line item level.

SYNNEX Improvements
  • New dropdown on PO to support multiple billing accounts. For example, you can now setup and select from your accounts with terms, flooring, leasing, etc. Please note that the cost will not update automatically when changing SYNNEX accounts. Cost will be based on the default SYNNEX price file imported into ChannelOnline. Cost information will update after PO submission when SYNNEX sends a PO update message with the revised cost based on the account number.
  • Support for reseller specific promotions. Previously ChannelOnline supported only global promotions for SYNNEX.
  • When a line item note is entered, the "Supplier Review / On Hold" option is selected and inactive to indicate that the PO will go on sales hold at SYNNEX.

Tech Data Improvements
  • When a line item note is entered, the "Supplier Review / On Hold" option is selected and inactive to indicate that the PO will go on sales hold at Tech Data.
  • Support for input of end customer information as required by Tech Data's new order spec.

Shipping Comments (Special Instructions)
Shipping comments entered on the customer sales order will now be visible on the linked PO. They appear in the header information along with the Order Options.


Custom Items Limit Increased to 50,000
The limit on custom items will be increased from 2,500 products to 50,000 products.

Search Engine Improvements

  • When searching for products via Expert Search, the inactive 'Contains' option has been removed, and instead there is a checkbox to enable the 'Starts with' functionality. By default the search will be a normalized (non 'starts with') search that is similar to search behavior found on sites such as Google and CDW. This normalized search will typically return faster, more desirable product search results than a 'Starts with' search.
  • 'Synonym' functionality has been added to the product search engine. For example, if you search by LCD and the description says TFT, the product will be returned.
  • Intelligent 'Scoring' has been implemented so that the most relevant products will appear at the top of the search results.
  • The following syntax can now be used when doing product searches:
  • (+) to 'Must include' string in results.
    e.g. "Backup Exec +license" to return licenses for Backup Exec.
  • (-) to 'NOT include' string in results.
    e.g. "Backup Exec -license" to return results for the full Backup Exec product excluding licenses.
  • (" ") to include an 'Exactly' string in the results.
    e.g. "Symantec Backup Exec" will return all products with "Symantec Backup Exec" exactly.

'In Stock Only' Option for Product Search Results
Option to control whether or not product results return 'In Stock Only' can now be set internally and for the store.


Follow Up Date on Sales Documents
A follow up date has been added to the sales documents in order to better facilitate quote management. Documents with active follow up dates will appear on the dashboard as a daily and monthly link to a report. Each sales rep can activate the follow up date functionality in their sales rep account settings. Also in the account settings, the sales rep can set the default number of days to follow up (10, 15, 30, etc.)


Customer & Contact Notes
You can now enter multiple customer and contact notes into the customer account record.

Register Today for an Upcoming "Live" Webinar on ChannelOnline Join our complimentary, one-hour "live" webinar on ChannelOnline every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am PST / 2pm EST. Log on to learn how ChannelOnline addresses key VAR business challenges and gives you the power to sell. You'll discover how the solution delivers total management control over your complete sales cycle by automating key business processes with suppliers and customers. With ChannelOnline you can sell more, close faster and maximize margins. The webinar includes a thorough product demonstration and we leave the last 15 minutes for questions & answers.

About CNET Channel
CNET Channel (, a division of CNET Networks, is the world's leading independent source of product information, supporting both online catalogs and traditional sales processes with detailed content on over 3.2 million technology products worldwide. Over 2,100 high technology manufacturers and channel businesses in 35 national markets depend on CNET Channel to deliver world-class content solutions that maximize their sales effectiveness and minimize the cost and complexity of providing accurate and useful product information. Customers include Best Buy, CDW, CompUSA, Dell, HP, Insight, OfficeMax, Sony, Tech Data, Zones and many more.

CNET Channel Contact:
Scott Danish - Vice President, Global Marketing
Phone: +1.415.344.2722
Mobile: +1.415.254.0500