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Yufei Yuan: Online negotiation systems, training and other services
(Compiled and annotated in Dec. 2002)

Online negotiation systems for research

  • InterNeg (http://interneg.org)
    Two Internet Negotiation Support Systems: Inspire and INSS were developed at Carleton University and Concordia University, Canada. These systems contain a facility for specification and assessment of preferences and utility construction, internal messaging system, and graphical displays of the negotiation progress. They are both process and a solution-driven NSS. The process-orientation is in the systems not giving any suggestions but a set of tools supporting the process. The solution-orientation is in suggesting one or more of the Pareto-optimal compromises.
  • WebNS (http://webns.mcmaster.ca/)
    A Web-based negotiation support system (WebNS) was developed at School of Business, McMaster University, Canada. It provides full process support for online negotiation and mediation. Three experiments have been conducted to test 1) the effectiveness and user acceptance of online negotiation in comparison with face-to-face negotiation, 2) the effectiveness of online mediation and 3) the impact of using different communication media in negotiation.

Online negotiation training and consulting services

  • The Negotiation Institute (http://www.negotiation.com/)
    The Negotiation Institute, Inc. is located in New York. It provides customized training for the art and the success of negotiation.
  • Program on Negotiation, Harvard University (http://www.pon.harvard.edu/)
    This web site provides information about the research and education program on negotiation at the Law School of Harvard University.
  • NegotiatingEdge (http://www.negotiatingedge.com/)
    The Negotiating Edge is a global consulting company that provides training and consulting services in negotiation, sales negotiation, project management negotiation, negotiation for purchasers, persuasion and influence skills, cross-cultural negotiation, and conflict resolution as well as targeted programs for negotiators.
  • International Computer Negotiations, Inc. (http://www.dobetterdeals.com/)
    ICN is a consulting organization, dedicated to helping technology professionals get the best deals possible when negotiating with suppliers. Using ICN's proven methodology—the Managed Acquisition Process™ or MAP™—allows clients to manage negotiations as a process, not an event. Negotiations begin the first time a sales rep calls and ends when the contract expires. The ICN approach allows you to effectively negotiate fair contracts that ensure rights, remedies and flexibility for you, the customer, and establish clear performance standards for the supplier.
Online contract negotiation
  • Contract Management Solutions (http://www.cmsi.com/)
    Contract Management Solutions Inc's (CMSI) mission is to be the leading technology solutions provider of web-based contract management software, offering, the most widely used solutions which encompass the entire contract life-cycle, delivered through ASP and In-house licensing. CMSI's total life-cycle solution includes: project and funding approval; financial systems integration; development and change management of standard form documents; contract request and document production; negotiation of the contract; visibility and availability of all versions of the document from initial creation through the executed document; contract event management; renewal and business process management.
  • UpsideContract (http://www.upsidecontract.com/)
    UpsideContract, a contract management software, is provided by Upside Software Inc. located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The software offers a fully automated web-enabled contract management process that starts from creating the contract request to developing the RFX (e.g. RFP) and then to opportunity posting, vendor submissions, evaluation, negotiation, signing, managing, tracking performance and deliverables, handling the finances (e.g. payments) and on-going monitoring. As well, contract renewals, amendments and change orders are all handled smartly and efficiently. The system also offers online contract negotiation. The solution allows companies to streamline their contract management process and improve their supplier relations (part of their supply chain integration process).
  • WinSquared Software (http://www.winxwin.com/)
    Based on 6 years of research on negotiation theory, 27 years of legal practice, and 8 years of professional programming, David and Bryan Ferguson founded Arcadian Software with the intent of offering everyone a systematic guide to Winning in Negotiation. Win² is innovative negotiation software that will help you communicate effectively, reach agreement and obtain cooperation. Using a database of more than 600 techniques, Win² analyzes the unique facts of your situation and recommends practical approaches for exchanging information, making proposals and gaining concurrence.

Online dispute resolution services

Recognizing the market demand, there has been recent growth in the number of online resolution services coming to the market.

  • Internet Neutral (http://www.internetneutral.com/)
    Internet Neutral administrates the mediation process. It employs a standard mandatory mediation clause, which can be easily inserted into your commercial contract. This clause requires a party who disputes an Internet transaction with you in some respect to serve a written notice upon you and the Internet Neutral, whereupon you will respond in writing to the disputing party and the Internet Neutral. To prepare mediation, a mediation agreement has to be signed by the parties involved and the mediation is scheduled and conducted jointly or privately through email, instant message, chatting room or videoconferencing.
  • NovaForum (http://www.novaforum.com/)
    In June 2000, three Toronto-based lawyers launched Novaforum Inc., Canada’s first online arbitration service that offers businesses a fast and affordable way to resolve legal conflicts online with a verdict guaranteed within 72 hours – anywhere, anytime. NovaForum’s services resolve grievances through a third-party online “e-mediator” who uses email, phone meetings, video conferencing or secure chat-type meetings to help bring about a solution. Due to the voluntary nature of the service (both parties must agree to participate), rates of compliance with NovaForum’s solutions are higher than other forms of judgment.
  • Online Resolution (http://www.onlineresolution.com/)
    Onlineresolution.com provides three types of dispute resolution services including online negotiation, online mediation, and online arbitration. In cooperation with mediate.com, Online Resolution, Inc. has licensed a secure online groupware called Resolution Room. Dispute resolution professionals may purchase Resolution Rooms for use in their private practices. The threaded discussion capability clearly organizes issues or topics of concern. Rooms are password protected and accessible from any web browser, so parties do not need special software to participate.
  • Square Trade (http://www.squaretrade.com/)
    The SquareTrade Online Dispute Resolution Service (ODR) is a fast and convenient way for parties anywhere in the world to resolve issues that have arisen over online transactions. During ODR, parties work together to resolve problems within the SquareTrade system quickly, either independently using our Direct Negotiation tool, through mediation, or through arbitration. The Online Dispute Resolution service is completely web-based and capable of handling disputes between parties based in different countries.
  • All Settle (http://www.allsettle.com/)
    Allsettle is an automated Internet dispute resolution service. Claimants and Claims Adjusters can make confidential demands and offers. Once a demand is entered, Claimants will be notified of the lowest possible settlement amount before finalizing their demand. Once an offer is entered, Claims Adjusters will be notified of the highest possible settlement amount before finalizing their offer. If the settlement offer is the same or greater than the Claimant’s demand, the claim is settled for the demand amount. If an offer and a demand are within 1/3 of one another, the claim will be settled for the median amount. If the offer and demand differ by more than 1/3, the claim will not settle. Two parties can adjust their demands and offers many times in order to reach a settlement. For complex issues, however, this type of service may be inadequate.
  • SmartSettle.com (http://www.smartsettle.com)
    SmartSettle is a secure negotiation support system using optimisation to produce fair and efficient solutions. It provides unattended, automated process for simple cases and facilitated process for more complex cases. It will span the gamut from very simple single-issue two-party cases to complex problems involving any number of decision makers with conflicting objectives on both quantitative and qualitative issues. Parties may choose to keep their offers confidential (a type of blind bidding) or reveal published proposals. By default, all preferences are kept confidential by a neutral site that manages all data. What is revealed to other parties is done only by explicit approval. Based on the assessment of both parties’ private preferences and tradeoffs, SmartSettle is able to suggest a tentative optimal solution for easy acceptance of both parties.



October 29, 2003