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SaskTel, Netscape Announce Partnership

Netscape Communications Corp. and SaskTel Wednesday announced a three-year partnership to deliver Internet software and services to businesses and consumers around the world.

The partnership, announced at Internet World Canada, gives SaskTel, one of Saskatchewan's leading Internet providers, a license to Netscape's entire enterprise software line. Netscape will also help the company develop e-commerce and communications services.

The new offerings will be centered around Netscape's BillerXpert and CustomNetcenter products. Netscape's sales and marketing team will also promote the partnership.

For SaskTel, the deal means it stands to gain contracts to handle e-commerce service for its customers. Don Ching, SaskTel's president and chief executive officer, said its customers will also be able to save money.

"This agreement is key to SaskTel's diversification strategy and strongly positions the company to compete in the global Net economy. It is the next step in providing leading edge, innovative services that respond to the needs of our customers in Saskatchewan and around the world," he said.

The partnership will allow SaskTel to offer a range of new services, including online bill payment and presentment and secure online ordering. SaskTel will also deliver intranet hosting and advanced messaging to its clients.

Marc Andreessen, Netscape's chief technology oficer, said the partnership will especially benefits small businesses that might not be able to afford to independently develop their own Internet presence.

"The Net economy is erasing the physical boundaries between businesses, their partners and customers, making a solid presence on the Net critical for survival in an environment where the competition is just a click away," he said.