MVB US, a global book services provider, announced that Pubnet, an electronic system that allows book retailers to order directly from publishers, went live on September 5 after undergoing a year of technical upgrades and modernization. MVB said this is the first step of a phased relaunch of the upgraded system that will continue until December 4.

MVB US CEO Ted Hill said the now fully rebuilt electronic platform has been enhanced with new features, including a streamlined interface, better search and document management, and stronger security features. More than 40 publishers, distributors, and retailers are taking part in the testing of the new system.

Hill said, “the new Pubnet isn’t just a system replacement, it’s being fully modernized into an agile platform that will be used as the foundation for a range of services.”

“As the industry struggles with a shifting retail landscape, MVB is supporting the low-cost and efficient commerce between booksellers and their suppliers that is vital to the health of our industry,” Hill added.

To prevent service disruption, the September 5 relaunch is the beginning of a phased migration of clients and vendors onto the newly upgraded Pubnet platform. Additional improvements to the Pubnet system will be rolled out during the coming year. Pubnet vendors are encouraged to begin the upgrade process before the migration ends on December 4.

Pubnet was originally launched in 1987 by the Association of American Publishers to bring electronic ordering to the college bookstores market. Since then ownership of the system has changed hands several times, most recently last year when Pubnet and a related service PubEasy were acquired by MVB.

Ronald Schild, CEO of MVB GmbH, the German parent company of MVB US, said “We see great potential for offering superior publishing services on a global scale.”