New IBM Software Integrates E-Commerce Web Sites With Core Business Systems

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LOS ANGELES - 14 Apr 1999: . . . IBM today announced new software that is the first in the industry to link a commerce Web site to more than 35 different platforms, including ERP systems. IBM Commerce Integrator, an optional feature for IBM Net.Commerce, easily integrates commerce web sites with back-end systems and corporate data.

Based on IBM's market-leading MQSeries(a) messaging software, IBM Commerce Integrator brings the power of reliable, industrial-strength technology to growing small and medium e-businesses. The technology provides companies with an easy growth path as their business needs change and their Web presence intensifies. As a result, companies can realize increased return on investment as they improve the efficiency of core business processes such as fulfillment, logistics and customer service.

According to Forrester Research(b), integration projects sap 30% of information technology development budgets at global 2,500 corporations. In addition, 90% of the Fortune 1000 run on at least three different operating systems, further complicating business integration.

David M. Alschuler, Vice President, e-Business and Enterprise Applications, Aberdeen Group, Inc., said, "Integrating new e-commerce applications into existing systems is a critical and costly business issue. IBM's delivery of Commerce Integrator shows a real leadership role. Leveraging its very popular MQ Series technology, IBM delivers immediate support to a broad range of heterogeneous environments, a tremendous asset in attacking the application integration problem. The commitment to support XML and emerging DTD standards such as RosettaNet, as well as OBI, should significantly extend the reach of the product to support inter-enterprise, business-to-business integration requirements."

Until now, if a company wanted to integrate an e-commerce Web site with existing systems, custom software code had to be written between the commerce server and each existing back-end application. Consequently, few e-commerce Web sites are well integrated with existing business systems. Commerce Integrator eliminates the need for this 'hard-coding'.

IBM estimates that customers will save 25-50% on development time with Commerce Integrator. Commerce Integrator reduces the time, effort and cost for developers to custom interface programming. The GUI component offers developers a simple, drag-and-drop interface for creating, managing and updating connections and business rules between popular platforms and Net.Commerce. In addition, Commerce Integrator ships with pre-coded adapters for popular ERP systems such as SAP, and through the network of IBM Business Partners additional adapters will be developed.

"While e-commerce can start simply, it quickly becomes more demanding as a company seeks to serve a greater range of customer needs online,'' said Karl Salnoske, general manager of e-commerce, IBM. "As an e-commerce site grows, access to core business processes and transaction types are needed, requiring integration between the commerce server and existing back-end systems. Commerce Integrator allows e-businesses to do e-commerce right, by seamlessly integrating the business processes between their Web site and core operations.''

Commerce Integrator Services and Customers

IBM Global Services has developed design and implementation offerings for Commerce Integrator, and is currently building commerce integration SAP solutions for both Whirlpool Corporation and Varian, Inc.

IBM has completed the first phase of a commerce integration SAP solution for Whirlpool Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. "IBM's consistent leadership in business integration and e-commerce was a driving force in our decision to work with them on this latest project,'' said Michael Jakeway, Lead E-Commerce Analyst, Whirlpool. "In the ongoing evaluation and improvement of our e-business systems, our ultimate goal is to implement technology that will help us meet and exceed customer demands. Extending our e-commerce capabilities will help Whirlpool accomplish this goal as we continue to provide top-notch service to our customers.''

In addition, Varian, Inc., a leading provider of scientific instruments and vacuum technologies, is working with IBM to link their extranet customer catalog to their back-end SAP system utilizing IBM Commerce Integrator. "By adding the capabilities of IBM Commerce Integrator to our online catalog , we will not only be able to serve our existing online customer base in a more effective manner, but also help expand our catalog services,'' said Erdal Toprakhisar, CIO, Varian, Inc. "The kind of work we are doing with IBM is part of our ongoing e-business strategy to streamline our mission-critical processes and drive customer loyalty from both new and existing clients.''

These engagements are led by experienced consultants from the IBM SAP/ERP Integration Services Practice and the Net.Commerce Integration Services e-business Practice. To date, these consultants have completed in excess of 400 SAP implementations and some 500 IBM Net.Commerce implementations.

Commerce Integrator and Business Partners

Also at Internet World, IBM announced that JBA International and Systems Software Associates are the first of a number of business partners that will build business integration solutions with IBM technology including Commerce Integrator.

"Commerce Integrator really provides new possibilities for our customers to expand their existing e-business systems,'' said Nigel Brown, product manager for @ctive e-commerce, JBA. "This new software from IBM will help us take e-commerce to the next level for business selling on the Web.''

Additional information regarding business integration and IBM Business Partners is available at

Commerce Integrator Availability and Pricing

Available on April 30, 1999, IBM Commerce Integrator is designed to work with IBM Net.Commerce V3.1.2 START or PRO, which are part of the IBM WebSphere(a) family, and run on Windows NT(c), AIX(a), and Sun Solaris(c). IBM Commerce Integrator START takes advantage of IBM's application framework for e-business to integrate IBM Net.Commerce into one platform. IBM Commerce Integrator is sold separately for $20,000. IBM Global Services will also offer design and implementation services for IBM Commerce Integrator START later this year. IBM Commerce Integrator PRO enables up to five connections with other platforms, and is sold separately for $50,000.

As business needs change, Commerce Integrator customers can upgrade to the full enterprise version of IBM MQSeries Integrator(a) software, and will receive a credit on the upgrade based on the value of their initial purchase. MQSeries Integrator, a message broker that builds on MQSeries connectivity by directing, translating and reformatting messages according to criteria set up by the business, enabling IT managers to automate critical business processes and eliminate redundancy across the enterprise. IBM MQSeries Integrator uses New Era of Networks, Inc's (NEON) advanced rules and formatter engine and is closely integrated with IBM MQSeries.

Future versions of Commerce Integrator will continue to support best-of-breed business integration practices, such as XML, through IBM's work with RosettaNet. Future versions also will allow users to create and support new business processes which will enable companies to better integrate with suppliers, business partners and customers on the Web.

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