IBM and CommercialWare Enter Strategic Alliance To Provide e-Business Solutions to Online Retail Industry

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SOMERS, N.Y. & NATICK, Mass - 03 May 2000: -- IBM (NYSE:IBM) and CommercialWare, a leading provider of business-to-consumer retail commerce solutions, today announced a strategic alliance to provide comprehensive e-business solutions to the online retail industry. This new alliance will contribute to Forrester Research's prediction that Internet retailing in the U.S. Alone will grow from $20 billion in 1999 to $144 billion - 6 percent of all retail purchasing - by 2003.

IBM and CommercialWare will provide retailers and e-tailers a complete technology solution for business-to-consumer electronic commerce. The solution package includes software components, hardware components, implementation, maintenance and support services, and a complete training solution from web storefront design to post implementation services.

"Through our relationship with CommercialWare, IBM will be able to offer a complete end-to-end, multi-channel e-commerce enabled retail application," said Deborah Wick, IBM Global Mid-Market Business, Retail Industry Segment. "In turn, CommercialWare enjoys access to a significant marketing program, sales leads and resources, hardware, software, financing and services capability."

The new offering combines IBM's Websphere Commerce Suite(a), MQ Series(a) messaging middleware, Netfinity(a) servers and AS/400(a) server technology, with CommercialWare's application suite. Using these tools, customers can increase brand equity, drive growth, and provide consistent customer interactions through all sales, marketing and customer service activities, to dramatically improve the customer shopping experience across multiple channels.

"The benefit of CommercialWare's e-commerce solution is its ability to tightly integrate Web site commerce functions with our order management and fulfillment operations," said Bob O'Hern, vice president@of information systems, Ritz Camera Centers. "As proven by the recent holiday seasons, retailers need to build a presence on the web, and have the integrated infrastructure in place to deliver on their promises. By taking full advantage of all the functionality CommercialWare provides and IBM's reputation for unparalleled e-business solutions and services, Ritz Camera will gain competitive advantage and set the standard for customer service and e-fulfillment."

The IBM and CommercialWare alliance is part of a developer initiative where IBM forms strategic relationships with leading independent software vendors (ISVs). Under the initiative, ISVs gain access to new customers and revenue opportunities through IBM's extensive marketing, sales, and solutions resources. At the same time, ISVs commit to lead with IBM's middleware, server platforms and services.

"IBM has been a strong alliance partner for CommercialWare", said Amish Mehta, President and CEO, CommercialWare. "With this new strategic alliance, CommercialWare will be able to leverage the IBM sales, marketing, and R&D initiatives to expand on it's leadership position, and to deliver seamlessly integrated internet infrastructure solutions for retail commerce - from online to offline commerce. CommercialWare and IBM customers will benefit tremendously from this joint solution offering."

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