IBM has released a new version of its Netcommerce merchant server product, for companies wanting to set up electronic commerce sites for the Internet or Intranet.
Version 3.0 of Netcommerce features various changes, based on IBM's experience so far in implementing ecommerce sites, including its own failed World Avenue virtual mall venture, which closed down in May.
"The most significant change is the introduction of a catalogue tool which enables customers to search, select and build online catalogues. It uses intelligent agent technology, which makes developing a catalogue extremely easy for retailers and gives customers tremendous functionality," Robert Lewis, electronic commerce manager for IBM, claimed.
Lewis said over 48 European customers were using or evaluating earlier versions of Netcommerce already, and he expects to have signed up more than 150 by the end of the year. Netcommerce is available in three versions for different sizes of companies.
One of the companies already using the product is Somerfield, the UK supermarket chain, which has set up an Internet shopping site for delivery of groceries to customers in their offices.
The Verona Opera House is already selling 600,000 tickets a year from its IBM-based Web site, while Chelsea Football Club in London is currently developing a site for the sale of club merchandise over the Internet.
Also announced was a suite of products called Commercepoint, which supports the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) protocol, The suite includes an electronic wallet, the eTill electronic cash register, and the Commercepoint Gateway for linking sites to financial companies for credit card transactions.
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