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IBM Brings Wireless and Realtime Technology to E-markets

New Software Enables Creation of On-line Marketplaces that Extend to Mobile Devices

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BOSTON - 16 May 2000: -- (Net Market Maker Conference) -- IBM today announced the first software that enables businesses to create on-line marketplaces that interact with handheld devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, and pagers.

The software provides a fully integrated e-commerce solution for integrating buyers and sellers in an electronic marketplace. In addition, the software will securely communicate with wireless devices through the support of the wireless application protocol (WAP) and SMS (Short Message Services).

By extending essential business-to-business transactions to wireless devices, participants can remain engaged from anywhere, thereby increasing market efficiency and improving inventory liquidity. For example, bidders can receive notifications on auctions they are participating in -- such as a request for higher bid, an outbid notice, or even a winning bid notification -- in realtime through a wireless device. This enables exchanges to rapidly move liquid inventory, thus saving time and money.

The WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition software offers all the functions and tools for building a successful and scaleable marketplace, including: various dynamic trading models, such as, exchange, RFP/RFQ and auctions. In addition, the solution provides powerful aggregated catalog, secure membership registration and access control management, as well as easy-to-use business intelligence and reporting functions. Combined with Lotus Sametime(superscript: tm) , buyers and sellers can communicate and receive on-line customer assistance to easily exchange goods and services. The WebSphere Commerce Suite is part of IBM's WebSphere Software platform, the industry's most flexible and reliable software platform for building next-generation e-business applications.

Business-to-business on-line commerce is growing rapidly. The Gartner Group estimates that over 400 trading markets have been launched to date, and the number will rise to 10,000 by 2002. Over 3 million sellers are expected to participate in e-marketplaces by that time, with an estimated $438 billion in business-to-business transactions taking place.

"This year alone, hundreds of new e-marketplaces will emerge, changing the way business is done in some of the largest and most traditional industries in the world. This new wave has the potential to fully leverage the Internet's inherent potential for creating truly dynamic, interactive communities and marketplaces that are exchanging business critical information --- from virtually any device," said Ed Kilroy, general manager, IBM electronic commerce software. "IBM is leading this revolution by offering comprehensive solutions that facilitate all aspects of business-to-business e-commerce. WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition provides the infrastructure and tools that market makers need to quickly and effectively create a fully functional, scaleable e-marketplace ."

Customers

A variety of customers have been selected to participate in the limited availability program. Customers include: Beihai Yinhe, DynCom, Inc., Fishmonger.com, Freeboarders.com, HotSamba, Inc., LinkOpp.com, OneSea.com, SciQuest.com, and Unibex. These customers join the thousands of customers currently using IBM e-commerce software for business-to-business and retail commerce sites.

"IBM's WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition represents the next-generation of e-commerce functionality," says Rob Fusillo, CIO for SciQuest.com, a leading e-marketplace for science-intensive organizations. "We chose it for our marketplace infrastructure because it's a solid, complete e-business solution. The IBM software solution supports multiple commerce mechanisms featured on SciQuest.com's e-marketplace, such as bid/ask, request for quote, and reverse auctions. Our experience with IBM's commerce products over the past two years gives us the confidence that WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition will be able to scale and handle large transaction volumes reliably and securely."

IBM Business Partners

Business partners are teaming up with IBM to provide essential, value-added services to the offering:

IBM Global Services offer comprehensive integration services to help market makers of all sizes thrive in this fast-paced market
Xerox Connect and Ernst & Young are providing key services to help market makers succeed
CheckFree i-Solutions and eBX are providing electronic bill presentment and payment services that market makers can offer as a value-added service to their buyers and suppliers
eCredit.com is teaming with IBM to provide real-time identity verification, credit and financing services to enable e-marketplaces to quickly add qualified partners to the hub
Suppliers are able to rapidly transform their catalog and product content into the format defined and required by the hub via an easy-to-use graphical user interface through IBM's relationship with DataJunction

"The value of live communication between buyers and sellers makes the exchange of goods and services much more efficient and reliable," said Paul Haverstock, general manager, Lotus Sametime. "Lotus Sametime provides buyers and sellers with the ability to instantaneously discuss the products and services available on these sites with each other and with knowledgeable experts. Sellers get the opportunity to differentiate and up-sell with good old fashioned customer service."

For more information on our partners and customers, please see http://www.ibm.com/software/websphere/commerce

WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition Features WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition, built on top of the proven foundation of WebSphere Commerce Suite version 4.1 (previously known as Net.Commerce), provides an integrated and rich set of flexible business functions on a common base platform for quick time-to-market, extensive flexibility, rapid application development. It allows for easy internal application integration with back-end systems and external business integration with trading partners. This flexible framework is easily extendible for fast-growing e-marketplaces. The IBM solution is built on and leverages open standards, including Java, XML, LDAP, WAP and TPAs (Trading Partner Agreements).

The software offers a feature-rich, customizable, extensible and scaleable solution for fast growing e-marketplace environments. The comprehensive scope of functionality and out-of-the-box capability of WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition greatly reduce the time and technical effort required to build and launch a custom marketplace. The solution combines ease and speed of development with adaptability and versatility.

WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition provides key components such as dynamic trading models, including exchange, RFP/RFQ and auctions to flexibly support various business models. In addition, the solution provides a powerful aggregated catalog management framework. WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition also includes functions for secure membership registration and access control management, as well as easy-to-use business intelligence and reporting functions.

In addition, the software will work in conjunction with IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Suite, a server software that includes data synchronization, transcoding, device and subscription management, and support of protocols such as the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).

WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition will be generally available on IBM's AIX platform September 1, 2000. Additional platform support will be announced in the future.

IBM WebSphere Software Platform

WebSphere Commerce Suite version 4.1 and WebSphere Commerce Studio software are application services built on top of the WebSphere Application Server, Advanced Edition to provide a core set of technologies upon which future applications services will be built. By leveraging technologies in the WebSphere Software platform, customers will be able to use a single, unified technology foundation for a wide range of e-business applications. It allows companies to build essential e-business 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 regarding WebSphere Commerce Suite V4.1 is available at http://www.ibm.com/software/websphere/commerce.

IBM, Ariba, i2 Alliance

Recently, IBM, Ariba, and i2 announced a broad, strategic alliance to deliver the industry's first end-to-end solution for business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce and collaboration. The alliance of industry leaders provides best-of-breed B2B marketplace, collaboration and procurement solutions with global reach of IBM sales and services. The companies will use their best-of-breed technologies to create an integrated B2B marketplace solution that enables businesses to rapidly build and deploy full-service marketplaces. The alliance will focus on providing solutions for large corporate exchanges.

IBM Corporation

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM Software home page at http://www.software.ibm.com

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