IBM & Deutsche Post Team to Launch e-Commerce Solution for Small Businesses

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New York - 25 Feb 2000: -- IBM and Deutsche Post today announced the launch of "neuGeschaeft" (newBusiness), a new arrangement to provide complete internet and e-commerce solutions for small businesses in Germany. Announced at the CeBIT international technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany, neuGeschaeft is a clear demonstration of the two corporations' commitment to support the rapidly growing small-business sector in Germany and across Europe.

As part of the arrangement, the two companies will jointly market and support neuGeschaeft and will offer an integrated internet and e-commerce solution that uniquely combines the technology expertise of IBM with the logistics capabilities of Deutsche Post. The neuGeschaeft solution enables small businesses to design and use a website and link it seamlessly with a range of back-office functions without adding additional people, hardware or services. With neuGeschaeft, users can, for example, sell products from a virtual storefront and then tap into Deutsche Post's existing nationwide transportation network to offer product delivery to their customers anywhere in Germany within 12 hours of ordering - a level of service unequalled by any other offering in this marketplace.

NeuGeschaeft comprises IBM's website design and hosting package capabilities, as well as a range of credit and address checking, order management, secure payment handling and consignment tracking modules offered by Deutsche Post and IBM. As a result, small businesses can use a simple PC with an Internet browser to set up online retailing operations with no upfront investment and a low monthly fixed cost.

"Many smaller businesses simply lack the time, resources and skills to fully benefit from the e-commerce opportunities that are available today to larger enterprises," said Mike Braun, general manager of IBM's Global Small Business unit. "By linking with Deutsche Post to form neuGeschaeft, we're helping to level the playing field for small businesses by giving them access to a truly unique package of tools, services and support they need to compete effectively."

"Deutsche Post sees the boom in e-commerce as a huge challenge and opportunity," said Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel, chairman, Deutsche Post AG. "We are today Europe's number one logistics services partner, and we intend to become the leading logistics partner in internet commerce as well. This cooperation with IBM is an important step for the future of the e-business market here."

IBM and Deutsche Post have implemented nearly 20 successful pilot installations of neuGeschaeft in Germany, and the solution is commercially available now. There are already plans for ongoing development of the solution with enhanced web design facilities and the inclusion of WAP (Wireless Applications Protocol) technology, for example, by the end of 2000.

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