Prophet 21 has launched a new division, TradingPartnerConnect, that provides distributors and manufacturers of durable goods with a one-stop-shopping marketplace to obtain information, communicate with each other and make transactions, according to the company.

Through TradingPartnerConnect, Prophet 21 said it provides its base of more than 2,000 customers with the potential to buy and sell goods in a digital marketplace - an online business-to-business trading hub where multiple buyers and sellers conduct transactions without compromising their individual processes and relationships.

According to the Gartner Group, a business technology advisory firm, the formation of digital marketplaces and exchanges will change the way B2B commerce is conducted and will play a major role in the Internet economy. By 2001, 70% of distributors who operate online will receive more than 80% of their sales through online marketplaces.

As part of the program's rollout, Prophet 21 will coordinate a Beta program in July 2000 with about 50 customers, including Industrial Distribution Group, DXP Enterprises, Oliver H. Van Horn Co. and Duncan Equipment Co.

TradingPartnerConnect will be available September 2000.

In other news, Prophet 21 named John Seaner as its new chief marketing officer. Seaner was formerly the director/channels and alliances and field marketing at Ariba Inc.