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Compaq, PcOrder.Com cooperate on e-business

Compaq, PcOrder.Com cooperate on e-business

Compaq and PcOrder.com, a US-based electronic-commerce company specialising in computer technology, announced on Tuesday a partnership that Compaq says is the first in a series of cooperation agreements reflecting its new push into "e-business".

PcOrder.com provides IT suppliers, resellers and end users with software designed to simplify the process of buying and selling computer products online. Compaq has agreed to offer these products and services to its customers, according to a statement from PcOrder.com. The products and services include PcOrder's software platform, and its network for ordering goods online. PcOrder.com's software can be used to sell hardware direct to users, or to sell through distributors or resellers.

The announcement of the cooperation with PcOrder.com is to be followed by others over the course of the week, Compaq executives told IDG on Tuesday in an interview. The company is beginning to fill in the details of its e-commerce strategy, announced back in April, which it calls "non-stop e-business".

The idea is to help companies move their business processes online, and back them up with the features to make sure they stay up and running, according to Steve Kirchoff, vice president of strategic marketing for Compaq's enterprise commerce group. This goes beyond letting customers simply order goods from companies over the Internet, and extends to business-to-business applications, such as linking a company's main suppliers and internal departments electronically.

Compaq's strategy thus far has been high on concept, but low on specifics, demonstrating that the company is playing catch-up to competitors such as IBM in trying to position itself as a provider of electronic commerce systems.

Now, however, Compaq is ready to announce what it calls "building blocks" for companies trying to implement e-business solutions, Kirchoff said. Compaq is set this week to announce these building blocks, which will include bundling some products and services arising from new partnerships, as well as already existing products that Compaq will pitch together as electronic business solutions.

"We are going to be packaging solutions for non-stop computing," he said. "These are integrated systems in tested environments." The idea is to show companies the importance of having robust systems in place which work around the clock.

Some examples of building blocks might be a firewall, a server which comes pre-loaded with SAP AG's enterprise resource planning software, or storage platforms, said Laurent Blanchard, director of enterprise solutions at Compaq EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

The two Compaq executives said that chief executive officers have been more receptive to messages about the importance of around-the-clock availability since the recent online fiasco at EBay, the US-based online auction company. EBay experienced technical troubles which froze its ability to complete online transactions for some 22 hours earlier this month, raising the ire of its customers and threatening its credibility. "EBay demonstrated to them [companies] the meaning of 'non-stop'," Kirchoff said. http://corporate.pcorder.com


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