March 27, 2002, 12:00 AM

Staples and Panasonic adopt IBM’s new WebSphere system

Staples will use WebSphere Commerce as the new platform for its b2b StaplesLink.com, which it expects to account for 70% of its Contract Division`s sales to corporate customers. Panasonic will use WebSphere at b2b and b2c sites.

 

Staples Inc. and Matsushita Electronic Corp.’s Panasonic division have agreed to install IBM Corp.’s new WebSphere Commerce e-commerce software to power their web sites, IBM announced today.

The new version of WebSphere Commerce offers out-of-the-box integration of inventory and order management systems, IBM says.

Staples will use WebSphere Commerce as the new platform for StaplesLink.com, its b2b e-commerce site, which Staples expects to account for 70% of its Contract Division`s sales to corporate customers this year. StaplesLink.com serves 10,000 medium- and large-sized organizations and more than 2.6 million customers who connect either directly or through e-procurement systems. The site provides real-time inventory availability on more than 80,000 products, company-specific contract pricing and line-item shipping status. The company says 86% of its new customers last year are doing business with Staples at StaplesLink.com.

Panasonic will use the software for its b2b and b2c sites. Panasonic’s b2b site is widely used by the company`s dealer base. Panasonic says its online b2b business experienced double-digit growth last year and it expects even more growth this year as it integrates more business units onto the WebSphere platform.

"Panasonic requires scalable, high-performance systems that can integrate with our multiple back-end applications. The WebSphere Commerce platform enables us to streamline business processes and increase e-sales, while generating a quick return on investment,” said Eric Keil, IT director of e-business, Panasonic Management Information Technology Co. “The result is end-to-end solutions that allow our customers to search through our product catalog and conduct business with us anytime, anyplace."

The new WebSphere Commerce, integrates e-commerce with inventory and order management systems to ensure that product inventory is adequately tracked and inventory is in line with customer demand.

IBM says WebSphere Commerce Professional Edition 5.4, which is for b2c sites, will be available on March 29. The price for WebSphere Commerce Professional Edition starts at $80,000 per processor. WebSphere Commerce Business Edition 5.4 is for b2b sites and includes account and contract management capability, along with advanced business and security control. Business Edition will also be available on March 29. The price for WebSphere Commerce Business Edition starts at $125,000 per processor.

 

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