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IBM, Retek Forge E-Business Alliance

Information technology leader IBM and B2B software provider Retek Thursday forged a significant alliance targeted at the global retail market.

Both companies have agreed to jointly market, sell and service a comprehensive retail e-business solution consisting of Retek applications and IBM technologies. Retek will promote IBM Global Services as its leading consultant and implementation partner.

In addition to standardizing on IBM's DB2 Universal database, Retek will base its future applications IBM's framework for e-business, a technical roadmap that integrates Internet technology with information technology and IBM's WebSphere product family. Retek will also develop applications on IBM hardware platforms RS/6000 and Netfinity servers.

Meanwhile, IBM will substantially increase its Retek-devoted staff from 60 to more than 300 professionals and will lead with Retek's solutions in its retail sales solutions. IBM also will augment Retek's sales tem with more than 200 account executives worldwide and will serve as Retek's premier development partner.

As part of the deal, IBM has taken an undisclosed equity position in Retek. The companies report they will substantially benefit the $7.2 trillion worldwide retail market while garnering revenues of more than $1 billion by 2003.

According a statement released by Rebek, the partnership aims to produce billions in benefits for retail customers through "tighter supply chain orchestration, leveraging B2B and private exchanges, shortening time to market and time in market, improved fixed asset utilization and cash operating cycles, integrating multi-channel selling and customer relationship management."

The alliance between the two companies began in March whey they announced a joint offering of hardware, software and services tailored at the food and drug segment of the retail market. At that time, IBM and Retek were selected by A&P to help support grocer's chain and business management infrastructure and to provide the supermarket operator with new e-commerce and business capabilities.