IBM and Vignette, an ecommerce software developer, announced a strategic alliance on Thursday designed initially to meet the ecommerce needs of the retail, financial and dotcom markets.
Both companies plan to expand into other industries in the coming months.
In a joint statement, the pair said the agreement calls for the two companies to jointly market Vignette V/5 ebusiness applications with the IBM WebSphere Application Server Platform and software. The Vignette applications will fully support the IBM Application Framework for E-business.
In addition, IBM Global Services will enlarge its worldwide services practice focusing on Vignette V/5's support of customer relationship management and ecommerce systems, increasing the number of employees from 100 to more than 500. IBM's Business Innovation Centres will also feature the V/5 applications, according to the statement.
The partnership with Vignette is one of more than two dozen Big Blue has made with software companies since late last year as it tries to generate more revenue. The company hopes that by entering into various partnerships it can extend its reach into previously untapped markets.
According to IBM, the deal will increase its server sales by up to $1bn, and Vignette should see increased growth of its software solutions as IBM's sales force begins promoting them to its huge customer base.
The price of Vignette stock has increased more than three-fold in the past year, and shares rose 21 per cent on Wednesday after the company announced a similar joint marketing agreement with Arthur Andersen. It closed at $39.25 on Thursday.
IBM has formed similar alliances in the past year with Ariba, a provider of intranet- and internet-based business-to-business ecommerce solutions, and Siebel Systems, a provider of ebusiness application software.
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