IBM has mounted an aggressive campaign to win share in the Internet electronic commerce market, by bundling its products and services for a range of industry sectors in what it dubs its Electronic Business programme.
A range of products and services for specific vertical sectors will sit on top of a generic technology platform.This will be based on products such as Domino, Lotus Development?s interactive Web application server, and a transactional Web site technology codenamed Web Object Manager. This is a series of tools for creating customised Web pages on the fly from database sources and managing network traffic across multiple servers worldwide.
Also on offer is Commercepoint, a family of end-to-end applications and services for electronic commerce, and Net.Commerce Payment, a group of products based on the SET encryption standard for credit card transactions.
Among the industry-specific services is Energy Network Exchange, a set of services from IBM and Siemens to enable electricity companies to sell excess electricity over the Net. US-based Pacific Gas & Electric will be the first user of this service.
Petroconnect is a Web site that allows petroleum exploration professionals to exchange critical geological information, while Insure-Commerce is aimed at the insurance industry.
IBM also finalised the formation of its Network Computer Division to coordinate the company?s efforts to build products, manage alliances and draft industry standards for network computers.
Charles Halle is the newly appointed UK manager for network computing solutions. He said: ?We estimate that there are now 64 million people on the Internet worldwide with this number doubling, at minimum, every year. That means that the population should easily top one billion by 2000 - more than the population of China. At the moment in the UK, the market for electronic commerce software is worth about $2 million whereas by the year 2000, IBM expects UK firms to be spending over $70 million on electronic commerce software alone.?
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