Internet World: IBM, AT&T join on e-commerce

AT&T and IBM have begun a strategic partnership to provide electronic commerce services for small and mid-sized companies.

AT&T and IBM have begun a strategic partnership to provide electronic commerce services for small and mid-sized companies.

The technology alliance was established to jointly develop, market and distribute a range of e-commerce solutions to clients. IBM will provide the hardware and software on AT&T's network, the companies said in a press statement. The services will be delivered through a joint AT&T/IBM channel. The companies have scheduled a press conference to discuss the alliance this morning at the Internet World trade show in New York.

The deal is designed to reduce the complexity of building customised e-commerce systems for small businesses, the companies said. The collaboration between AT&T and IBM will help customers build Web sites with electronic catalogs and secure e-commerce, the companies said.

The integrated IBM/AT&T service will include IBM's Start Now software, a choice of servers -- IBM Netfinity(a), AS/400(a) or RS/6000(a) -- and customization options from IBM's Business Partner service. AT&T's Managed Internet Access Service will provide the Internet connections.

AT&T will manage Internet connectivity, ranging from speeds of 56Kbits/s up to 155Mbit/s.

The base price for the e-commerce package is expected to be $US35,000 plus extra Internet connectivity fees, the companies said.

San Antonio-based Savoir Technology Group, Inc. will be the first ASP (application service provider) contracted to provide the IBM/AT&T solution.

New Zealand's largest independent ISP, Ihug, this week announced a roaming deal allowing its customers to use the global dial-up network AT&T acquired from IBM.

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