NewsByte 18 September 2001

New IBM e-commerce Software Brings True Collaboration, Advanced Order and Inventory Management to the Business-to-Business Environment

Out-of-the-box functions enhance communication among buyers and sellers, reduce operating costs, strengthen business relationships

IBM today announced new software that brings advanced capabilities -- such as real-time collaboration, business relationship management and security and access controls -- to the business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce world. Sell-side B2B e-commerce, the process of making a company's products and services available to other business customers via electronic channels, is projected to grow by more than 30% to $7 billion by 2005, according to IDC.

IBM's new software, WebSphere Commerce Business Edition Version 5.1, is designed for companies that sell their goods to other companies via an automated process that often includes functions such as requests for quotes (RFQs), trading partner agreements and complex order handling. It is the first e-commerce software in the industry to bring dynamic collaboration and virtual teaming to the B2B environment. With the integration of Lotus software, Sametime and Quickplace, WebSphere Commerce Business Edition allows buyers and suppliers to negotiate terms and discuss the specifics of an order real-time. Beyond simple chat, the software creates a virtual teaming environment in which documents can be shared and real collaboration can take place.