WebSphere Targets BTC, BTB Customers

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IBM, White Plains, NY, has introduced the WebSphere Personalization 3.5 system for companies with business-to-consumer or business-to-business Web sites.


The system will be used by the respective sectors in two ways, said Pariac Sweeney, vice president of WebSphere product marketing.


He said BTB firms will be attracted to the rules-based filtering version of the system, where viewers become members with log-in names and passwords. Using information captured in past purchases, the log-in process automatically identifies a business customer's likely product or service needs. Offers then are tailored for the customers at the site.


The system also can be used to build extranet pages for repeat business customers as well as for business partners, where they will log in and place their orders or find shared information.


On the other hand, Sweeney said, e-tail sites will be drawn to the collaborative filtering version of the software. Since purchasing habits and other information can be scarce in e-tail marketing, he said, WebSphere interprets customer behavior and makes subsequent offers during the same visit. For instance, shoppers buying ski pants would be offered ski shoes before they check out.


The system also is designed to save Internet site developers time because it decreases the amount of application code needed to deliver targeted content, according to the computer manufacturing and e-commerce services firm.


In addition, WebSphere offers online marketers personalized content such as news and high-volume handling of transactions for both versions.


WebSphere runs with the AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows NT and Windows 2000 operating systems. The system also will work with OS/400 after Oct. 31. Pricing depends on the features ordered.


Visit www.ibm.com/websphere for more information.
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