Cisco announces e-commerce program

Cisco Systems has partnered with a handful of application vendors and consulting companies to create a program designed to make it easier for businesses to set up an electronic commerce system on the Internet.

The program is aimed at large and medium-size companies interested primarily in doing business-to-business e-commerce. According to Cisco, for all the hooplah about the money consumers are spending online, business-to-business commerce is where the real money on the Web is being made.

The networking company has endorsed three software partners to be part of its program: BroadVision, InterWorld, and Open Market. It has also chosen consulting integration companies Cambridge Technology Partners, Ernst & Young, and KPMG.

The program also draws on networking equipment from Cisco, as well as knowledge the company has accrued through its own online sales activities, which it says it will pass on to customers through its consulting partners. Cisco claims to do around $US23 million in online business daily.

Called Internet Commerce Solution, the program is available initially in the US. Once it has been tested successfully here, Cisco plans to offer it in Europe, then later in the Asia-Pacific region and lastly in Latin America, a company representative said.

Businesses who want to take part in the program should contact Cisco's field sales staff or one of the systems integrator partners, a Cisco representative said.

Internet Commerce Solution is the first in a series of similar initiatives the networking company will roll out in the coming months. Upcoming programs will be similarly structured -- including designated software applications and systems integrator partners -- and include Internet-based employee services, customer care, and supply chain management, the Cisco representative said.

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