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USWeb/CKS, IBM tackle e-commerce

USWeb/CKS and IBM say they will jointly develop marketing programs to entice businesses to use IBM and Lotus technology for their e-commerce needs.

Internet consulting firm USWeb/CKS and IBM today said they will jointly develop marketing programs to entice businesses to use IBM and Lotus technology for their e-commerce needs.

As part of the partnership, IBM will train USWeb/CKS employees on its technology including IBM's Net.Commerce servers, WebSphere application server, Lotus Notes, AS/400 and other legacy systems, said Toby Corey, USWeb/CKS president and chief operating officer.

"We're getting experience and expertise in their technology and IBM gets another channel to sell hardware and software," he said.

The alliance will allow each company to tap into each other's strengths, he said. For example, IBM's professional services organization will refer customers who need expertise in Internet consulting to USWeb/CKS. The company in turn will refer customers who have Year 2000 or Enterprise Resource Planning problems to IBM.

Corey said USWeb/CKS believes the deal could be lucrative because of the large installed base of businesses that use IBM and Lotus technology.

About 50 employees in USWeb/CKS's Business Systems Practice are currently proficient in IBM and Lotus technology, and with today's partnership, the company plans to quadruple that amount, he said.