ILumen has launched the iLumen Online Business Community, a service designed to combine online social networking features with iLumen's financial analysis capabilities.

The service enables private companies to collaborate with their peers and financial advisors including banks, accounting firms and other authorized third parties in a secure, online environment.

The Online Business Community offers trending analysis for viewing key financial metrics via dashboards; industry benchmarking and trend comparisons; industry intelligence with insight into challenges and opportunities; and an industry community, a way to directly interact with peers and financial advisors.

"I believe that for us, it's clear that online communities are starting to move into the business sector, and we believe we are the leader in this because it involves financial data," said Robert H. Woosley, chief executive of iLumen. "One of the things we'd like the market to understand is that the online market is out there. It's significant to all parties that banks and CPA firms are starting to engage in the networking outside of their own client base."

The new service is an extension of iLumen's core business, which focuses on providing a standardized flow of financial information from an accounting system and making that information accessible on a permission basis to facilitate financial e-commerce.

Key elements of the iLumen Online Business Community include online community capabilities found in social networking sites, including the ability to connect with community members, receive tailored industry news feeds and participate in blogs and ongoing surveys. Private companies can choose to securely upload their financial data in order to receive additional benefits such as benchmarking trends, collaborating with their advisors on those trends and receiving feedback from other authorized parties.

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