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IBM Delivers WebSphere Commerce Suite for Service Providers

Service Providers Can Now Offer Integrated Solutions and Services to Turn Small and Medium Businesses into e-businesses

MIAMI - 28 Mar 2000: -- WebSphere 2000 IBM today announced e-commerce software that allows service providers to quickly and easily set up and operate a full-range of hosted e-commerce sites, services and communities for small and medium businesses.

Using the integrated software package, service providers -- including Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Applications Service Providers (APSs), Commerce Service Providers (CSPs) and e-Service Providers (ESPs) -- and financial institutions can now offer customers an easily implemented "commerce-marketplace-in- a-box" in a shared commerce-server environment.

The software suite, which includes WebSphere Commerce Suite, Service Provider Edition (SPE) version 3.2 (formerly Net.Commerce Hosting Server), and WebSphere Payment Manager (PM), allows businesses without the internal expertise or resources to quickly establish a secure electronic commerce solution, which can be readily extended and enhanced with premium options. In turn, they can offer their customers, such as smaller businesses, all the benefits and revenues being realized by e-businesses today.

New features include easy-to-use site creation tools for one-stop commerce site creation. The software also includes additional store model templates and secure on-line payment services that work with existing business processes and applications, as well as enhanced performance and scalability.

The hosting market is expected to continue to grow rapidly with e-commerce as one of the primary drivers. A recent research report from Forrestor predicts the hosting market will reach $11.3 trillion by 2003.

"As the size of the hosting market continues to rapidly expand, service providers will increasingly sell additional value-added services to drive incremental revenues for their customers," said Ed Kilroy, general manager electronic commerce, IBM Software Solutions. "WebSphere Commerce Suite SPE addresses the needs of service providers for quick time-to-market and low administration and maintenance costs to host thousands of merchants. This will provide small- and mid-sized customers with affordable and comprehensive solutions to drive their businesses forward to the next generation of commerce sites."

"The combination of NetVendor's E.MBRACE and IBM's Websphere Commerce Suite for Service Providers brings together the functionality needed for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to create feature rich e-markets for their respective customers," said Michael Doane, vice president of business development, NetVendor. "This combination brings NetVendor's suppliers focused, multi-catalog capabilities, which essentially are consumer-oriented solutions transformed into a seamless package."

New Features and Functionality

Built on top of WebSphere Commerce Suite, users have access to an integrated solution addressing the needs of both business-to-business and business-to-consumer environments with Content Management, Relationship Marketing (data collection, analysis, development and adjustment), Personalization and Auction capabilities.

WebSphere Commerce Suite Service Provider Edition (SPE) allows service providers to deliver a variety of store models to meet their customers' evolving needs, As the success of a seller's commerce site grows, the services it offers its customers can grow along with it, such as the addition of shopping carts, fulfillment services, and multiple payment options. The seller can move from basic to advanced to a custom solution, all using the same integrated e-commerce solution. Two new store creation models include:

Basic Store -- offers a Store Creation Wizard template which allows for a fully operational e-commerce store containing a populated product directory including off-line or on-line payment processing.

Advanced Store -- offers unlimited sized catalogs, a catalog editor, customer designed store flows and the ability to include custom designed HTML pages. Tax and shipping calculations can be defined at the product category level and be specified by jurisdictions.

SPE provides the ability to add e-commerce functionality to remotely hosted static pages and shopping cart feature called" snap-on-commerce". This feature is provided with the Advanced Store at no additional cost, and allows current web sites to be commerce enabled with buy buttons, shopping cart catalog search and customer service functions. Additionally, for high-volume catalogs, IBM Catalog Architect now provides content management support for the SPE Advanced Store.

Additionally, it meets the needs of web designers, developers and administrators for inexpensive, creative and rapid application development, integration, deployment, and maintenance.

Partners

Many companies are also partnering with Internet Service Providers to offer branded, hosted electronic commerce solutions. Partners working with IBM to offer this solution include: Aureus, CommercialWare, Epoch Internet, NetVendor Inc., VeriSign and VERSIFI. Similarly, credit card processing companies are linking their web financial services operations to the Websphere Service Provider Edition. Additional information regarding partners is available at http://www.ibm.com/software/websphere/commerce/servers/spe/quotes.html.

Pricing/Availability

WebSphere Commerce Suite Service Provider Edition is available for small and medium businesses and NetGeneration companies. The price for the IBM Service Provider Edition is $10,000 per processor, and includes five merchant licenses; $250 for Basic Store templates; $500 for Advanced Store templates.

It includes the WebSphere web-application server, operations and management tools for the service provider, an award-winning database, a robust LDAP directory and payment services. The software supports open standards, such as Java, XML, SSL and SET, for rapid application development, integration, deployment and maintenance.

WebSphere Commerce Suite is generally available today on the Windows NT** AIX platforms and Sun Solaris as of March 24, 2000. Additional information regarding WebSphere Commerce Suite Service Provider Edition is available at http://www.ibm.com/software/websphere/commerce/servers/spe/press.html

Contact(s) information

Kelli Gail
IBM
(212) 745-3350
kelliga@us.ibm.com

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