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CONTACT:
Jean Barnes
Covast Corporation
(404)812.7157

Ahrend Selects Covast to Connect Customers to AhrendONLINE
Dutch company will use Covast to achieve 50% electronic turnover in 2002

ATLANTA – January 23, 2002 – Covast Corporation, a provider of integration broker software that enables connectivity in weeks or even days, today announced that Ahrend has selected Covast to facilitate the roll-out of AhrendONLINE, its e-commerce solution for office products. Ahrend is an international distributor of furniture and office supplies and one of the top companies of its kind in the Netherlands. Covast already provides electronic communication for clients of Ahrend Furniture. Now Ahrend Office Products will use Covast’s eCommunity Builder to connect the e-procurement systems of its customers to AhrendONLINE.

“By implementing eCommunity Builder, AhrendONLINE is in a position to offer the best possible service to its clients,” said Gideon van der Burg, e-Commerce and Marketing Manager for Ahrend Office Products Europe. “The software enables us to communicate perfectly with all manner of systems, such as Ariba, SAP EBP (Enterprise Buyer Professional), as well as with local systems such as PION, so that clients can receive orders as quickly as possible with no administrative complications. This software will enable us to achieve our ambitious target of 50% electronic turnover in 2002.”

AhrendONLINE targets businesses of all sizes with an online ordering system, and support for e-procurement solutions and ASP marketplaces. The online ordering system is primarily intended for small and medium-sized businesses, but can also be used by larger companies. Covast eCommunity Builder will provide support for e-procurement solutions and ASP marketplaces so larger companies that already have e-procurement systems can communicate seamlessly with AhrendONLINE.

AhrendONLINE offers comprehensive catalogues, updated with UNSPSC codes for global product ordering, to ensure that customers can consult the complete catalogue online and place orders without problems. AhrendONLINE will use eCommunity Builder to communicate with both clients and suppliers, shortening delivery times on both sides.

“eCommunity Builder is the ultimate e-commerce tool,” said Daan Scheer, Covast founder and CEO. “It solves trading partner challenges that businesses like AhrendONLINE regularly face. With eCommunity Builder, AhrendONLINE can dramatically decrease the costs and delivery time of connecting customers’ e-procurement systems.”

About AhrendONLINE and Ahrend
AhrendONLINE is the e-Commerce solution from Ahrend Office Products. Office and computer supplies can easily be ordered online via the client’s own ordering site, with an e-Procurement solution or by using an ASP marketplace supported by Ahrend. The goods are distributed from warehouses in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Ahrend Office Products is part of Ahrend. Ahrend is an international trading company operating in the office furnishing, office supplies and computer supplies sectors. Ahrend sells directly to the business end user. Ahrend has sales offices in its core countries, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Great Britain and is supported by its own furniture factories. In the Netherlands, the company also provides reprographics services for the professional market. The total number of employees is about 2900. For more information: www.ahrendONLINE.com or www.ahrend.com.

About Covast
Covast simplifies the complexity of connecting, translating and sharing electronic documents with your customers and trading partners. Covast’s integration software provides secure and reliable connectivity to the Internet and to VANs. In addition, our solutions’ robust capabilities include the seamless translation of complex file formats and documents. Covast accelerates the migration from EDI and proprietary file formats, to new open standards such as XML. With European headquarters in the Netherlands and U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, Covast has strategic relationships with partners and customers including Microsoft, Compaq, ABN AMRO, ADC, KLM, and ING. For more information, visit www.covast.com.

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