E-commerce Ups and Downs

IBM starts a middle market B2B, Intel's Itanium has a bright future, and more. StaffFebruary 8, 2001

Dell Says “Bye Bye B2B”

Dell Computer shut down one of its B2B online marketplaces, called Dell Marketplace, only four months after it originally opened, according to Ecommerce

The B2B exchange allowed customers to purchase Dell personal computers, notebooks, servers, and related information technology equipment, as well as office products. Dell’s B2B E-procurement purchasing and information portal site, called Premier, remains open.

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But Ecommerce says Dell Marketplace never reached a critical mass, signing only three suppliers, Pitney Bowes, Motorola, and 3M.

Rather than generate revenue from selling the business products themselves, Dell charged suppliers on the marketplace both transaction and hosting fees. The site enabled customers to bundle orders from Dell and its suppliers into a single purchase. But sales volume on the Dell Marketplace never matched projections and paled far behind the $50 million in daily revenue Dell does on its hardware-only site.

IBM Links E-marketplaces

Wednesday, IBM launched its iSeries Connect software package, which connects small and mid-sized businesses to E-marketplaces. The software runs Big Blue’s eServer hardware, and its price starts at $1,000.

IBM says the iSeries links core business applications, such as accounting and enterprise resource planning, or ERP, systems, to E- marketplaces, and it is built on Sun Microsystems Java and the XML language for Web page design. The product also includes IBM’s MQSeries messaging middleware, which links B2B applications and back office systems across multiple servers.

Could it be that IBM is also trying to jolt the economy out of its doldrums all by its lonesome? Big Blue is letting customers who install its E-business, networking, and storage systems in February defer payments for 120 days. Payments will be deferred for 30 days for customers who install the products in March.

The eligible products include IBM’s Lotus and Tivoli software, WebSphere middleware, and data management systems. The hardware products include all Big Blue’s storage, printer, and networking products.

Bits and Bytes

  • NavisionDamgaard released version 3.1 of its Damgaard XAL customer relationship management, or CRM, system. The upgrade includes five modules that run on the Internet and are integrated with the XAL’s back office applications. The modules are E-commerce, Sales and Marketing, Document Management, Product Configurator, and Fixed Assets. The E- commerce module lets users create and maintain B2B Web sites.
  • Market researcher Aberdeen Group says Intel’s Itanium architecture will account for 42 percent of worldwide server sales by 2005. Systems based on the Itanium architecture will be broadly deployed starting in the first half of 2002 and will span a wide range of operating systems, including the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows, the open-source IA- 64 Linux, Hewlett-Packard’s HP/UX, and IBM’s AIX 5L.

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