IBM to focus more on Web products

IBM will expand its Net.Commerce offerings with supply-chain management, improved online payment options, and better credit card verification, the company announced last week at Internet World Summer '98 in Chicago.

The improved Net.Commerce services will come from a raft of new partnerships the company announced at the show.

"Our view of electronic commerce is that it is not just about buying and selling the transaction-based processware," said Karl Salnoske, general manager of electronic commerce at IBM's Internet Division. "It's about looking at electronic commerce as a complete life cycle and building a long-term relationship so that the customer becomes a return customer."

To facilitate North American payments, the company is working with CyberCash's ICVerify to develop Internet payment systems. The companies will jointly create a NetVerify payment cassette for the next release of IBM's Payment Server.

The company is also working with Danish Payment Systems to provide payment gateway facilities for European financial institutions via the Secure Electronic Transactions, or SET, protocol for Internet credit card payments.

As part of IBM's end-to-end Internet-commerce strategy, the company is teaming up with 11 vendors to provide complete solutions.

"These business partners provide critical capabilities that enhance and extend our business software," Salnoske said.

These partners include Web-based customer service provider Business Evolution; order-management vendor CommercialWare; supply-chain management vendors Fisher Technology Group and Industri-Matematik International; new media publishing vendor Garg Data International; interactive advertising vendor Narrative Communications; customer interaction tools vendor Net Perceptions; direct-marketing vendor NetGravity; and decision-support vendor PersonaLogic.

Meanwhile, IBM is working with Impac Technology to create an application that enables online catalog creation and integration with electronic data interchange and warehouse and fulfillment capabilities. The application will use an Intelligent Interactions database-targeting engine in its Net.Commerce server to create customized catalogs for customers who visit online stores.

The company has also announced new customers, including Motorola's Cellular Subscriptions Sector, chemical company Rohm & Hass, intellectual asset management vendor Resolution Technologies, and corporate training company Excel Tech.

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