December 10, 2012, 9:58 AM

IBM and Rosetta unit team up for global expansion

The companies seek more e-commerce business in four continents, Publicis says.

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After a roughly 12-year relationship, e-commerce technology provider IBM Corp. and interactive marketing agency Rosetta, a unit of the Publicis Groupe, are embarking on their biggest global expansion yet. In the next three years, they plan to establish four e-commerce regional offices, or hubs, in the United States, Latin America, Western Europe and China. Each hub will consist of a local IBM team and agency professionals from the Publicis Rosetta group who will provide software and services to business-to-business and business-to-consumer merchants, the companies announced this week.  Publicis estimates those regions together represent a nearly $600 million opportunity between now and 2015, it says.

“This expanded plan going after this huge market is certainly the largest opportunity we’ve ever gone after with IBM,” says a Rosetta spokeswoman.

The companies chose where to build hubs based on Publicis research and the fact that some of its newest clients are in those regions, she says. Its clients include Chilean grocery store chain Cencosud, Canada-based footwear retailer  Aldo Group, No. 404 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide; hhgregg Appliances Inc., No. 442; and Luxottica Group S.p.A., No. 145.

IBM products offered through the hubs will include IBM Coremetrics, Tealeaf and SPSS for web analytics, Cognos business intelligence software, IBM Unica online marketing software, and DemandTec software, which is designed to let retailers and consumer products manufacturers share information on customer demand to plan production schedules.

The North American hub, based on the West Coast of the United States, represents a $390 million market opportunity by 2015, the companies say; the Western European hub, comprised mainly of clients in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, $130 million; the China hub, about $30 million; and the Latin American hub, centered on Chile and Brazil, about $30 million, Publicis says.

So far in 2012, Rosetta’s commerce-related revenue derived from its partnership with IBM has grown 100% and Publicis expects that to triple in the next three years, it says, reaching $100 million in 2013 and passing $300 million by 2015.

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