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Dell Invests Heavily in SiteSmith

Looking to make another smart application service provider investment, Dell Computer Corp. Friday led a group of investors that sunk more then $26 Million into SiteSmith, Inc.

Dell's investment aligns the computer e-tailer with a well received nine-month-old Internet Web site operations company that is gearing up for worldwide expansion of its services.

Dell's recent series of application service provider investments is part of the company's efforts to expands its revenue streams beyond the limits of computer-making core to embrace new Internet infrastructure services delivered through the ASP business model.

In April, Michael Dell, Dell Computer founder and chief executive, unveiled the company's intentions to leverage its corporate reputation as springboard into offering customers value-added services.

The business strategy is designed to propel Dell into the Internet infrastructure market segment, capturing market share as companies seek more to buildout their Internet capabilities.

Part the initiative into outsourcing for Dell included the development of Dell Ventures, a separate business group responsible for making strategic investments in early-stage private companies.

Dell has been a notably active investor in the ASP sector in recent months, with investments in companies across a wide spectrum, including eOnline, Healtheon's Web MD , and Interliant Inc. .

Interliant alone received $27.5 million in backing from Dell, Network Solutions, Inc., and other industry leaders.

Dell is adapting quickly to its new role as a dot.com incubator, stepping back into the role of middle-man offering clients value added services like advanced Web design and e-commerce sites, which SithSmith can provide its clients.

SiteSmith also upped its Net profile when the Internet site operations company landed Mark Spagnolo as president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board for the firm in June. Spagnolo was formerly president and chief executive officer at UUNET, a WorldCom Inc. and is well prepared to take the company global.

The combination of third round capitol raised, Internet business reputation, and management experience gives SiteSmith the tools necessary to become a leading provider of comprehensive Internet site operations.