IBM Rolls Out New E-Market Software

BOSTON (05/16/2000) - Big Blue is rolling out software to let would-be 'Net vendors host electronic marketplaces.

Tuesday at the Net Market Maker Conference in Boston, the company announced WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition, which will let users do things such as create online auction sites. Potential buyers and sellers can do business on these e-marketplaces in real time, even while using handheld devices like mobile phones. This will let a marketplace's users propose or close deals on the fly, saving time and money, claims IBM Corp.

There are now 400 e-markets, the firm asserts, and that number will climb to 10,000 by 2002. IBM's first foray into the world of online markets, Marketplace Edition is built on the WebSphere Commerce Suite platform and will deliver all the basic tools to get an e-marketplace up and running quickly and securely, claims Dave Liederbach, vice president of e-commerce marketing at IBM.

Among other features, the product comes with tools to establish secure membership registration, access control management and catalog aggregation. It also has business intelligence and reporting features to monitor and analyze activity on the site. The product supports XML and has a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol interface that will let Marketplace capture or share information with other e-commerce applications in the network.

With its development tools, users can tie Marketplace Edition into back-end legacy systems or connect to business partners. It can also work with Lotus Development Corp.'s Sametime instant messaging technology, which will let buyers and sellers communicate with each other live.

The product will be available in September on AIX; pricing starts at an estimated $75,000 per processor.

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