IBM next Monday will announce that its WebSphere Commerce Suite Version 5.1 is available for the iSeries AS/400 platform.
Version 5.1 adds globalisation support beyond simple language and currency. The upgrade offers functions such as region-specific sales tax and shipping rules, and localised payment methods and pricing. In addition, 5.1 provides customers with a single catalogue option, rather than requiring the customer to create a new catalog for each new country entered. Yet the single catalogue still allows companies to personalise based on region, said Sandy Carter, IBM vice president of e-commerce marketing.
"Adding iSeries to the list of platforms supported helps IBM leverage its strong globalisation support and a truly global installed base, as well as its commitment to a standards-based open platform architecture," said Carol Baroudi, director of electronic business strategies at Hurwitz Group in Framingham.
The upgrade also adds merchandising personalisation features, allowing line of business managers to more effectively market their products. For example, the commerce accelerator lets managers target certain customers for special offers or customize offers for particular audiences.
WebSphere Commerce Suite 5.1 also offers business intelligence in the form of analytic tools. Business managers can run reports to learn the effectiveness of a particular marketing campaign or special offer.
Version 5.1 also lets customers more easily integrate with JD Edwards' enterprise resource planning (ERP) packages and QAD's EQ product, Carter said.
IBM has also added mobile commerce support to Version 5.1, including notification messages, automatic content selection, and customised shopping flow tailored to specific mobile devices.
Pricing for WebSphere Commerce Suite Version 5.1 on iSeries is based on processor groups. Software-only prices range from US$22,000 for the most basic installation to $200,000 for a machine with 11 processors. Software and hardware prices range from $66,000 to $500,000.
IBM plans to release WebSphere Commerce Suite Version 5.1 for the z-Series in the third quarter of this year.