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Thin clients offer e-business alternative

Thin clients offer e-business alternative

Local resellers, distributors and manufacturers are the targets of a recently released business-to-business e-commerce solution dubbed Mercari, the result of a joint venture between Melbourne-based software developers Integrated Business Solutions (IBS) and Memorex Telex.

Claiming to spurn the traditional e-business proposal of developing an HTML or Java-based solution, IBS' managing director, Jim Kengos, explains that Mercari is radically different.

"Our approach is based on server technology. The Citrix software incorporated in the solution enables customers to use the application as if it is on their own machine."

Kengos is adamant that this type of "out of the box" solution allows a business to reduce its e-business development time by up to 90 per cent, without sacrificing any individually required features.

"There is no reason you couldn't have this up and running in two to three weeks," Kengos claimed.

The entry-level solution begins at $50,000 and includes Compaq server hardware, Citrix software, the Mercari application, and services to implement the solution and training to maintain it.

Kengos explained that despite the solution's simple design it remains an attractive proposition to any business.

"The business is effectively buying an application. A series of tools allows a client to populate the solution with its own offerings," Kengos explained.

"The services we provide basically build each business's rules into Mercari and then we train the business to maintain the systems independent of anyone else, including Web development organisations."

Kengos has purposely focused on providing a business-to-business solution and has moved away from the "shopping basket approach".

Instead, he claimed, Mercari offers resellers and the like a "business-to-business selling tool.

"This tool is for people who know the person at the other end of the transaction. It means people can provide their registration details and the reseller can decide how to create and add a client and who has access to what lists.

"We can train the reseller on how to configure the entire system in terms of how you want clients to access your products."


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