New IBM e-commerce Software Brings True Collaboration, Advanced Order and Inventory Management to the Business-to-Business Environment

Out-of-the-box functions enhance communication among buyers and sellers, reduce operating costs, strengthen business relationships

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SOMERS, N.Y - 18 Sep 2001: -- IBM today announced new software that brings advanced capabilities -- such as real-time collaboration, business relationship management and security and access controls -- to the business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce world.

Sell-side B2B e-commerce, the process of making a company's products and services available to other business customers via electronic channels, is projected to grow by more than 30% to $7 billion by 2005, according to IDC.

IBM's new software, WebSphere Commerce Business Edition Version 5.1, is designed for companies that sell their goods to other companies via an automated process that often includes functions such as requests for quotes (RFQs), trading partner agreements and complex order handling. It is the first e-commerce software in the industry to bring dynamic collaboration and virtual teaming to the B2B environment. With the integration of Lotus software, Sametime and Quickplace, WebSphere Commerce Business Edition allows buyers and suppliers to negotiate terms and discuss the specifics of an order real-time. Beyond simple chat, the software creates a virtual teaming environment in which documents can be shared and real collaboration can take place.

"We've taken the fundamentals of successful business relationships and automated them for the B2B environment," said Ed Harbour, director, WebSphere Commerce, IBM Software Group. "Using the advanced features of the software, companies can strengthen their business relationships while reducing their operating costs, resulting in better service to their customers and greater customer loyalty."

Among the new features of WebSphere Commerce Business Edition are:

CareTouch, Inc., using IBM's award-winning WebSphere Commerce Suite, successfully launched their Carepanion e-commerce site which provides life care products, services and tools that help individuals and their families manage ongoing health care needs.

"The new WebSphere Commerce Business Edition will help us achieve our core strategic objective: faster deployment of the application, easy-to-build extensions and maintain a robust application to attract a large and loyal online community of customers," said Dr. Prasuna Dornadula, vice president, Chief Technology Officer, CareTouch, Inc. "In fact with this new offering, we anticipate adding new features and extending current features to interface with third party products to support millions of caregivers using our site on a daily basis."

WebSphere Commerce Business Edition features an open architecture based on a Java programming model, making it simple for developers to add or customize features to meet their particular needs. The infrastructure is built on key IBM software products, including WebSphere Application Server and DB2 Universal Database. An English language developer's edition of the software will be available November 30, 2001 for the Microsoft Windows platform. Other languages and platforms will be available in early 2002. The price for WebSphere Commerce Business Edition starts at $125,000 per processor. Additional information is available at:

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

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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source