IBM to Help ASPs Get Into E-Commerce in LatAm

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (06/02/2000) - IBM Corp. announced this week a program to help application service providers (ASPs) in Latin America provide electronic commerce services and software to small and medium-size companies.

The program, called the Partner Architecture for ASP Business, will tap into IBM's network of partners in the region, such as independent software vendors, Web integrators, data centers, financial firms and vertical ASPs, the company said.

This program's first project has been undertaken in Bolivia, where telecommunications company Entel S.A. is working with IBM and several of its partners to provide e-commerce services under an ASP model, IBM said.

Being able to obtain from an ASP the necessary software and services to conduct e-commerce makes it more feasible for small and medium-size Latin American companies to begin selling over the Internet, IBM said. This is because ASPs store software in a data center and lease it to their clients, which in turn access it over the Internet. ASP clients, thus, don't have to spend a fortune buying, implementing and maintaining the software.

If growth forecasts for Latin America's e-commerce market hold true, many small and medium-size companies in the region will be looking for help to set up shop on the Internet. Consequently, demand for the required software, hardware and services will skyrocket and ASPs are expected to play a big part in meeting this demand.

Dataquest Inc. predicts that business-to-business transactions will grow in Latin America from US$1 billion in 1999 to $124 billion in 2004. The business-to-consumer market, while considerably smaller, is also expected to experience monumental growth, hitting $8.3 billion in 2005, up from $194 million in 1999, according to Jupiter Communications Inc.

IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at http://www.ibm.com/. Entel, in Bolivia, can be reached at http://www.entel.com.bo/.

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