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Compaq jumps on e-commerce train

The computer company makes a move to improve its e-commerce software business by making a minority investment in Click Interactive, the company says.

Compaq Computer has made a move to improve its e-commerce software business by making a minority investment in Click Interactive, the company said.

Click Interactive software lets manufacturing companies tie in with their suppliers and customers over the Internet.

As part of the deal, Compaq will resell the Click Interactive software and help improve research, development, and marketing, the companies said. In addition, Click Interactive will position Compaq's Windows NT servers as the preferred computers for its software, said RV Rao, director of Internet services at Compaq.

The deal resembles Hewlett-Packard's "e-services" push in some ways. HP has been investing in many companies that HP believes will benefit as corporations move their operations to the Internet. Compaq's comparable initiative, called "NonStop eBusiness," seeks to link sales of high-end equipment to the growth of commerce on the Internet.

Under the deal, Compaq and Click Interactive will split up the job of installing the software, which is complex enough to require customers to pay for installation services, Rao said.

Click Interactive is privately owned. It was founded in 1994 and has been profitable for several years, Rao said.

Click's software lets the business partners use modules for placing orders, dealing with warrantees, and handle accounting and financial aspects, Click Interactive said. The software is used by Hyundai, Qualcomm, and Motorola.

On September 7, Compaq announced a deal with Clarus Corporation, Commerce One, and Microsoft to make it easier for companies to buy supplies over the Internet.