IBM reveals new e-business initiative

Trying to further bolster its e-business initiative among smaller and midsize companies, IBM launched a new program here at its Business Partners Conference which allows its business partners to offer several solution packages across its major platforms and those of some competitors.

The Start Now for e-business program provides business partners with bundled hardware and software products from the company in concert with a range of business partner services.

With yesterday's announcements the platforms now supported include Windows NT, AIX, OS/400, and Solaris operating systems.

The new electronic commerce offering is the first in a series of Start Now programs. The package is centered around IBM's Net.Commerce merchant server and is designed to broaden market opportunities and revenues for business partners by shortening their typical sale cycle and making it easier to start up an e-commerce Web site.

The package will be available for Windows NT immediately and will be available on a number of platforms sometime during the second quarter of this year, company officials said.

Besides Net.Commerce, the essential ingredients of the new offering include several sample e-commerce applications including one for sales tax computing, reporting and UPS shipment tracking, and a hardware server.

"Resellers can't afford for every new installation to be an adventure," said Richard Lawson, a senior vice president at Hall-Mark Integrated Solutions. "With this program we can offer resellers a more complete e-business solution and provide the back-room integration services,'' he said.

The new suites for AIX and Solaris include EnlightenDSM systems administration technology from Enlighten Software Solutions. They also include the Intel LANDesk Management suite which offers desktop and server management capabilities in the IBM Suite and Enterprise Suite for Windows NT.

The IBM Small Business suite includes FaxPort and Winport fax and modem pooling capabilities from LANSource Technologies. Some IBM suites include software developed by the Apache Group to be used in the Apache HTTP server project.

For more information on the package users can go to http://www.software.ibm.com/xplatformsuites.

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