WEGO, the leading portal provider for trade and professional associations, announced it has signed an agreement to build and host a new portal for the 29,000-member American Soybean Association (ASA) and its 26 affiliates.

The site will also highlight ASA's 14 overseas offices that conduct business in 71 foreign countries. The soybean market is an industry with an estimated $24 billion in soybean production.

The new ASA portal is scheduled to launch in January and will feature the latest in interactive content, community and commerce for soybean producers, the agricultural industry in general and consumers of health foods.

Tony Anderson, president of the ASA, says this will be a new beginning for the 80-year-old organization. "The agricultural industry is the third largest e-commerce industrial segment in the United States. Our vision is to build the premier virtual association for our industry. Already our members, many who run diverse farming operations, are looking to do more of their business, research and networking on the Web. Collaborating with WEGO will enable us to achieve our technology and organizational goals within the tight timeframe we've set."

In terms of technology, ASA's key requirements included platform flexibility for ongoing enhancements, control of information services, a broad range of interactive features, and ease-of-use. The ASA portal project represents a diversification into e-business designed to create new revenue streams while enhancing the real-world operations of the association. After considering a wide array of commercial and association-specific solutions, ASA opted for WEGO as the best overall solution with the fastest path to launch.

"It's not just another new Web site we're building but a living virtual association. As it is in the offline world where information is generated daily and business is ongoing, our virtual existence should reflect this. WEGO's platform offers design and content management flexibility without the need for complex HTML programming. By using WEGO, we can outsource our technology burden which will allow us to focus on growing the association and serving our membership both offline and online," added Anderson.

The ASA agreement comes in the wake of several high profile associations joining the WEGO client list. WEGO CEO Kir Kahlon notes that building an effective Web presence has become an imperative for trade and professional associations.

"ASA is a true example of a visionary association. Like many organizations, ASA is seeking to ensure that it remains relevant in the Internet age. The WEGO solution is designed to help industry leading enterprises like ASA leverage their offline assets into online results. Deploying world-class portals rapidly and cost-effectively is a priority for trade organizations seeking to catapult themselves into the New Economy."

About the WEGO Portal Platform and Services Solution

WEGO's platform offers the elements necessary to successfully deploy a rich, interactive portal including comprehensive features, a fully hosted portal platform, and strategic implementation services. With WEGO, organizations have control over their branded sites, customization and design, content management, and feature selection.

Additionally, a powerful yet easy to use template architecture and administrative wizards accelerate the process for building and launching portals. The platform is based on WEGO's revolutionary Portal Modules(TM) architecture. Portal Modules are portal building blocks that allow flexible placement of content and functionality, enabling every page of a portal to be customized with dynamically generated information. As a result, feature-rich portals powered by WEGO can be built within weeks, rather than months.

About ASA

Since 1920, ASA has been aggressively representing the soybean industry on Capitol Hill in Washington as well as in state capitals and internationally. Although most noted for its strong lobbying presence, ASA carries a full range of membership services, education, and networking. Its largest meeting is the yearly Commodity Classic, co-hosted with another commodity organization and attended by more than 4,000 corn and soybean growers.

Currently, the organization has 46 staff members in its St. Louis international headquarters and another 60 worldwide in its 14 foreign offices. The foreign offices help develop market for U.S. soybeans and soybean products abroad. ASA has been highly successful in increasing U.S. soybean exports to a record-setting 980 million bushels in the last year with a value of more than $4 billion.

About WEGO

Founded in 1998, WEGO is a privately held corporation headquartered in Redwood City with offices in Washington D.C. and Chicago. WEGO enables "bricks-and-mortar" and Internet companies to rapidly deploy world-class portals that increase traffic and reach, improve retention, lower costs, and maximize revenue. The company is backed by top-tier venture capital firms and a distinguished group of private investors, including CEOs and other senior level executives from leading Silicon Valley technology companies.

For more information, please visit www.wego.com or call 877/WEGO.COM.

Note to Editors: WEGO is a trademark of Wego.com, Inc.