E-Commerce Apps Alliance Forged

SAN MATEO (06/07/2000) - Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intershop Communications Inc., an e-commerce sell-side application provider, jointly announced on Tuesday a partnership in which each company will market the other's products as a preferred solution for their customers.

The alliance, which does not involve any equity exchanges, will in its first phase be a global joint marketing effort with a joint sales effort and will even include quotas to the sales force, according to Stephan Schambach, founder and CEO of Intershop.

As part of the agreement, Intershop will port its Enfinity line of software applications to the HP-UX Unix platform. That process will take about six months, said Schambach. Currently, Intershop offers a Windows NT solution.

In addition, Intershop will recommend HP hardware and e-services, such as e-speak, to its customers as well as making HP-UX the preferred platform for Intershop applications. Future plans call for tighter integration between Intershop and HP e-services technology.

Schambach said both companies expect several hundred millions of dollars in revenues "in the next years."

HP announced a somewhat similar partnership with BroadVision Inc. last month, but in response to a question of whose solutions an HP sales force might promote, Nigel Ball, vice president and general manager of HP's e-services partner division, said the market is so huge there is room for multiple suppliers and that Intershop offers unique solutions that will give HP incremental business.

"BroadVision is also an important partner. Our strategy is to pick the top couple of companies," Ball said.

Ann Livermore, president of HP's enterprise and commercial business division, added that in the so-called New Economy companies cannot go it alone and that partnerships to build an "enterprise ecosystem" are keys to success.

Eckhard Pfeiffer, Intershop chairman of the board and former CEO and president of Compaq Computer Corp., was also on hand. Pfeiffer reviewed Intershop's strong growth over the last year, citing a 250-percent growth in first quarter sales over first quarter last year. Pfeiffer also pointed out, somewhat gleefully, that Intershop is a profitable company and that even in the New Economy profitability is back in vogue.

Hewlett-Packard Co., in Palo Alto, California, can be reached at www.hp.com.

Intershop Communications Inc., in San Francisco, can be reached at www.intershop.com.

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