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IBM Extends e-commerce Software Offerings to AS/400e Server

First Integrated Solution for Personalized Relationship Marketing, Order Management, Auctions and Business-to-Business Commerce

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Somers, N.Y - 30 May 2000: -- IBM today announced a new e-commerce software suite for AS/400 that enables e-businesses to build customer loyalty and site activity to increase revenues.

WebSphere Commerce Suite, Pro Edition for AS/400, Version 4.1, offers new, advanced functionality required by the next generation of e-commerce businesses. It has features that allow companies to increase revenue through targeted customer loyalty and relationship marketing programs, including personalization; merchandising; business analysis and reporting; order management; auctions; and integration with existing systems and processes.

As a result, the software provides the full range of features and functionality necessary to meet the needs of the three major markets for e-commerce: business-to-business, business-to-consumer and e-marketplaces.

"We're committed to delivering the most comprehensive e-business solutions for our Web-hungry customers," said Louise Hemond-Wilson, worldwide AS/400 e-business segment manager. "By introducing the new tools to leverage customer information and to integrate supply chain on the AS/400, new e-commerce ventures are becoming more attractive and viable for growing small to medium businesses."

WebSphere Commerce Studio tools are easier to use, reducing development time and costs. The tools provide a flexible and powerful Web application development and management workbench for advanced, rapid and easy Web application development, integration, deployment, usage and management.

IDC estimates e-commerce will grow from $111 billion reported in 1999 to $1.3 trillion in the year 2003; 86 percent of that projected total will come from the rapidly emerging business-to-business segment.

"By combining unmatched breadth of functionality with deep deployment capabilities, WebSphere Commerce Suite takes Internet commerce management to the next level," said Paul Scarpa, senior analyst, The Yankee Group. "IBM's e-commerce solutions have always been designed with the Internet developer and systems administrator in mind. The personalization, rules management and analysis tools available in their latest release ensure that the needs of the e-marketers are comparably well served."

Advancing Sites to the Next Level
Personalization
IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite enables businesses to build customer loyalty with functions such as personalization. The personalization function uses individual customer profiles to analyze customer needs and respond with compelling, customized offers. New catalog enhancements help drive sales through capabilities like up-selling and cross-selling.

IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite uses Blaze Advisor technology, which provides a rules-based personalization framework to create an electronic catalog for businesses based on specific customer demographics. With this technology, businesses can serve their customer needs while implementing marketing and sales programs to provide a more interactive experience for the customer.

Registration, Auctions, Order and Inventory Management
A new dynamic e-marketplace can be created for the rapidly growing number of business-to-business focused companies. With IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite, companies can improve operational efficiency and reduce the cost of sales to partners and customers by using features such as batch user registration, auction code and real-time order status and inventory updates. Integration with back-end business-critical systems enhances order processing by facilitating the exchange of data using emerging industry standards such as the XML protocol.

Product Availability/Pricing
IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite, Pro Edition (formerly Net.Commerce Pro) will be available on OS/400 on May 31, 2000, in English only. National Language Support will be available on July 31, 2000. It has a tier-based price structure starting at $15,000. WebSphere Commerce Suite will be shipped with IBM WebSphere Application Server, Advanced Edition, Version 3.0.2, and IBM WebSphere Payment Manager, Version 2.1.

IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite and WebSphere
WebSphere Commerce Suite Version 4.1 and WebSphere Commerce Studio software, combined with WebSphere Application Server, Advanced Edition, provide a core set of technologies upon which future applications services will be built. By leveraging these technologies in the WebSphere family, customers will be able to use a single Web application server technology foundation for a wide range of e-business applications. It allows companies to build essential e-businesss applications fast, leveraging additional key IBM application services in collaboration and transactions, in addition to a wide-range of partner applications as needed.

IBM's WebSphere Commerce Suite, the first integrated e-commerce solution, provides a wide range of easy-to-use features and functions for content management, relationship marketing, order management, and payment management for all types of Internet businesses, including business-to-business, business-to-consumer and e-marketplaces. Sites built with WebSphere Commerce Suite can easily integrate with both internal and external systems and grow with the changing needs of an e-business. IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite customers benefit from the functionality of the WebSphere family, which integrates Web commerce, Web application server, Web application development tools, transaction processing and distributed component software from IBM.

Additional information on IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite V4.1 is available at: http://www.ibm.com/software/websphere/commerce

Contact(s) information

Tim Dallman
IBM
(507) 253-8838
tdallman@us.ibm.com