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IBM hooking up with Siemens on e-business

Big Blue says it will join the German industrial giant's e-business project, which already includes software from i2 Technologies and Commerce One.

IBM said Friday that it will join German industrial giant Siemens' e-business project, which already includes software from i2 Technologies and Commerce One.

As part of the deal, Siemens will use IBM's WebSphere Commerce Suite, WebSphere Application and MQSeries servers to build its e-business infrastructure, Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said in a statement.

IBM's e-commerce software enables companies to set up and run online catalogs, content management applications and search engines. It also includes business analysis and personalization tools.

Siemens initially outlined its $923 million (1 billion euro) e-business plan in October when it announced that it signed an agreement with Dallas-based software maker i2 to license i2's TradeMatrix marketplace software. Siemens also uses i2's consulting services for all of the company's manufacturing and sales operations.

In September, Siemens' Procurement and Logistics Services unit began using Commerce One technology to automate its procurement, transportation and shipping services.

For the project, Siemens is setting up companywide e-business applications developed by the alliance, which include the company's own Siemens Business Services.

Once the project is completed, which should take about three years, Siemens said it hopes to bring its entire global business, including 447,000 employees and the company's customers and suppliers, online.