France Telecom, Integra offer global Net services

France Telecom SA yesterday confirmed that it is partnering with Integra SA, a French electronic-commerce specialist in order to sell e-commerce services together to companies around the globe.

The Paris-based company's main product -- Integra-Commerce Technical Center -- turns a Web site into an e-commerce site, linking into back-office systems such as an ERP (enterprise resource planning) package. The e-commerce product can also link to marketing databases, call centres and delivery systems and it incorporates other Net products such as IBM's IBM Net.Commerce, Microsoft's Commerce Server, and Intershop's Intershop Online.

Further details about the arrangement between Integra and France's leading telecommunications company were not available, although a statement was scheduled lat yeasterday, France Telecom said.

Founded in 1996, Integra has just over 100 employees and operates more than 470 sites on the Web. Integra's IPO (initial public offering) on the French stock market on June 2 was 10 times oversubscribed, according to the company. More than half of the company is now publicly held, and Integra said it will use the cash infusion partly to buy companies in Britain and Germany.

Indeed, the acquisitions have already begun. At the end of June, Integra bought England's Aligrafix Ltd, a Web hosting company based in Oxford. According to the companies, Integra will use Aligrafix as its base of operations for its UK business.

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