Somers, NY April 1, 2002 IBM announced last week that it has two prestigious new customers, Staples and Panasonic, which plan to use the new IBM e-commerce software. The new version of WebSphere Commerce helps businesses integrate inventory and order management, out-of-the-box, as well as increase online performance for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business sites.
Staples will use WebSphere Commerce as the new platform for StaplesLink.com, its B2B e-commerce solution, which is expected to account for 70 percent of the Staples Contract Division's total sales to corporate customers this year. StaplesLink.com currently serves nearly 10,000 medium- and large-sized organizations and more than 2.6 million customers who are connected either directly or through an eProcurement system. StaplesLink enables purchasing managers to manage their office supply programs by decentralizing purchasing while centralizing and controlling costs.
Panasonic, one of the world's leading suppliers of consumer, business and industrial electronics, will use the software for its B2B and B2C sites to strengthen relationships with suppliers and customers as they expand their e-business offerings. At Panasonic, B2B e-commerce has become a strong complement to its traditional dealer programs. Panasonic's B2B site is widely used by the company's dealer base and the online sales volume has achieved double-digit growth in the past year. This trend is expected to grow exponentially over the next year as they integrate more business units onto the WebSphere platform.
"Our corporate customers are increasingly taking advantage of StaplesLink.com's process and cost efficiencies for office supply purchasing," said Lisa Hamblet, vice president, B2B e-commerce for Staples Contract Division. This past year alone, 86 percent of the new customers we acquired use StaplesLink for doing business with us. The new WebSphere Commerce software will enable us to deliver top performance, enhance our real-time inventory and pricing capabilities, and satisfy the future performance and feature needs of our customers."
"Panasonic is committed to enhancing sales and customer service through e-commerce," said Eric Keil, IT director of e-business, Panasonic Management Information Technology Company. "Panasonic requires scalable, high-performance systems that can integrate with our multiple back-end applications. The WebSphere Commerce platform enables us to streamline business processes and increase e-sales, while generating a quick return on investment. The result is end-to-end solutions that allow our customers to search through our product catalog and conduct business with us anytime, anyplace."