Companies Announce 10 Marketplace Agreements, Including HP, Homestore.com and Spherion Corp., To Expand Netscape Netbusiness Marketplace
Las Vegas, NV (March 28, 2001) Marketplace Links Hundreds of Online Communities, Letting Small,
Medium and Large Businesses Easily Buy and Sell Online
Netbusiness Initiative Supported by Joint Marketplace
Sales, Marketing and Development Efforts
America Online, Inc. and PurchasePro (Nasdaq:PPRO - news), a leading enabler of business-to-business, e-commerce solutions for companies of all sizes, today announced 10 new strategic agreements, including deals with Hewlett-Packard Company, Homestore.com and Spherion Corporation, to accelerate their B2B and e-commerce efforts, and jointly-develop the Netscape Netbusiness Marketplace.
The Netbusiness Marketplace is a one-stop, global e-commerce network of hundreds of communities and marketplaces that allows small, medium and large businesses to buy, sell and interact online.
AOL and PurchasePro also announced a joint sales, marketing and product development operation in support of the Marketplace. The joint sales team will include both the PurchasePro sales force and the AOL Interactive Marketing Group.
Leveraging PurchasePro`s industry-leading e-commerce technology, and AOL`s expertise in developing user-friendly services, tools and technology to support commerce online, the Netbusiness Marketplace provides business users with advanced features in a familiar and convenient environment.
Moreover, the initiative builds on PurchasePro`s extensive network of private-label marketplaces that encompass more than 140,000 businesses -- all of which will be connected to the Netbusiness Marketplace.
Netscape Netbusiness is also driving small business membership on the Marketplace through its popular Netbusiness Card, which provides detailed information about each member`s products, services, location and industry classification to millions of potential customers online.
All current and new Netbusiness Card members are automatically registered in the Marketplace and, starting today, are eligible to win one million AOL/AAdvantage Reward miles as part of a major three month promotional campaign.
Barry Schuler, chairman and chief executive officer of America Online said, ``The small business revolution on the Internet has begun, and small businesses everywhere are finding new ways to communicate with their customers and suppliers. PurchasePro`s platform and expertise in building business-to-business marketplaces will be a key part of this new revolution, and we`re pleased and excited to be making them such a significant part of AOL`s and Netscape`s services.``
Charles E. Johnson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of PurchasePro said, ``One of the keys to building a successful business-to-business network is interoperability. PurchasePro`s capacity to power businesses of all sizes, and its ability to link hundreds of marketplaces -- and millions of business users -- in a complete buyside/sellside application, provides partners and members with a broader reach to a wider range of audiences. This `network effect` is a driving force in the success of the Marketplace, and an important catalyst in our expanding relationship with AOL.``
Fred Singer, senior vice president and general manager of Netbusiness said, ``With the Netbusiness Marketplace we`re building on our combined base of PurchasePro`s marketplaces and Netbusiness Card users to create a unique opportunity for small business owners to buy and sell products in a whole new way. We`re taking cutting-edge technologies and content applications and making them simple for businesses to use. At the same time, we`re delivering the right mix of community, content and commerce, providing small businesses with a comfortable environment in which to learn about, and then take advantage of, more advanced forms of buying and selling online.``
HP is committing to work with AOL and PurchasePro to deliver the benefits of the Netscape Netbusiness Marketplace specifically to small and medium businesses.
HP`s e-commerce site, the HP Business Store (www.bstore.hp.com), currently serves the small and medium business customer with offerings including the company`s latest business PCs, PC servers, networking and mobile devices, printers, digital imaging, handheld PCs, workstations, servers, software and more.
``AOL`s Netscape Netbusiness Marketplace would allow us to offer products and services specifically tailored to meet the needs of U.S. small and medium business customers via one of the most heavily trafficked Web sites in the world,`` said Michael Weir, general manager of HP`s Small and Medium Business Organization. ``HP is always looking for innovative ways to deliver information technology and solutions to small and medium businesses.``
AOL and PurchasePro have also joined with a broad range of industry leaders to create unique vertical marketplaces.
Announced agreements include BroadVision, Inc. (www.broadvision.com), a leading supplier of personalized e-business applications; TheThread (www.thethread.com), a leading provider of collaborative supply chain management and e-purchasing solutions for the fashion industry; Plant America (www.plantamerica.com), a key resource for the lawn and landscape industry; Viva Magnetics Limited (www.viva.com.hk), the world`s largest CD-Rom replicator, also offering specialty CD packaging services; eFruit (www.efruitinternational.com), the global electronic marketplace for buyers and sellers of agricultural commodities; and ProfitScape (www.profitscape.com), a major provider of an automated payment solution -- eNET30(tm) -- which facilitates business-to-business online transactions through financial institutions such as GMAC B2B Credit.
By joining with leaders in their respective vertical fields, the Netbusiness Marketplace provides the opportunity for small to medium sized companies to create specialized industry-specific marketplaces, providing a convenient one-stop location for buyers and sellers to conduct business online.
In addition, AOL and PurchasePro announced today that current Netbusiness partner Bigstep.com (www.bigstep.com), an online service center providing small businesses easy-to-use tools and services to grow and succeed on the Web, signed a separate Marketplace agreement to provide increased functionality to the Netbusiness Marketplace.
The Netbusiness Marketplace initiative will be supported by a joint sales, marketing and advanced product development effort to rapidly grow the Marketplace and make it the leading destination for business-to-business e-commerce.
The joint sales force will offer prospective partners a turnkey marketplace solution that provides businesses with a powerful new distribution channel and complete procurement process. The Netbusiness Marketplace will enable businesses to build significant online presence and stimulate brand loyalty.