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Jean Barnes
Covast Corporation

HorizonUSA Selects Covast to Expand its Trading Community
Covast eCommunity Builder provides real-time document exchange
in any format

ATLANTA – February 19, 2002 – Covast Corporation, a provider of integration broker software that enables connectivity in weeks or even days, today announced that HorizonUSA has selected Covast software to expand its trading community. Covast’s eCommunity Builder provides real-time document exchange for XML, EDI and proprietary EDI formats, allowing Horizon to expand its business with national retailers and Internet suppliers.

HorizonUSA is a wholesale distributor of business technology supplies and sister company of S.P. Richards Co., a leader in office products distribution and a subsidiary of the multi-billion dollar Genuine Parts Corporation. Horizon currently has more than 130 e-commerce trading partners, many of which use a proprietary EDI format. With the document transformation capabilities of eCommunity Builder, Horizon will be able to exchange documents in proprietary formats, as well as XML used by Internet suppliers, and the ANSI X12 format predominantly used by national retailers of office supplies.

“We considered other software, but chose Covast for its real-time transformation capabilities and a total ownership cost of nearly one-fourth of the nearest competitor,” said Nate Scott, EDI administrator at HorizonUSA. “We were able to get eCommunity Builder up and running in a few days and can exchange documents in seconds with our trading partners in their proprietary formats. The transformation capabilities with X12 and other EDI formats will help us greatly expand our trading community and grow our business.”

Covast eCommunity Builder will also help Horizon save time and money by eliminating a significant amount of data entry. Today, Horizon manually process more than 60% of its orders. eCommunity Builder will also provide electronic purchasing and invoicing for Horizon and its own suppliers, eliminating the need for a service bureau to transform faxed orders into EDI.

“It is important for companies to bridge the gap between legacy document exchange formats and new standards, without sacrificing speed or efficiency,” said Jim Norton, executive vice president and general manager of Covast. “We are pleased to support Horizon’s expanding business with software that simplifies information sharing, improves business efficiency, and supports Horizon’s commitment to world-class customer service.”

Ahrend, one of the largest international office suppliers based in the Netherlands, also uses Covast to connect the e-procurements systems of its customers to AhrendONLINE. Ahrend uses eCommunity Builder to communicate with both clients and suppliers, shortening delivery times on both sides. The company is planning an ambitious 50% electronic turnover in 2002.

About HorizonUSA

HorizonUSA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Genuine Parts Company (GPC:NYSE) based out of Reno, Nevada, specializing in the wholesale distribution of business technology supplies throughout the United States. HorizonUSA stocks a vast inventory of over 5,000 copy and fax supplies, data storage media, imaging, computer accessories and business machines. HorizonUSA is a sister company of S.P. Richards Co., a leader in office products wholesale distribution and subsidiary of Genuine Parts Corporation. This backing brings together over 175 years of distribution experience and more than 9 billion dollars of financial backing. Since 1996 HorizonUSA’s Compounded Annual Growth Rate has been in excess of 45% making them the fastest growing company in the Genuine Parts Corporation family. For more information on HorizonUSA please visit

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

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