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Proxicom, Somm & Partner Plan Computer Sales Site

Reston, VA-based Proxicom, a developer of Internet-based business solutions, said that Somm & Partner will be developing e-commerce-focused Internet communities using the Proxicom Community Suite.

As a result of the agreement, Somm & Partner will develop a turn-key community system--initially for German, Swiss and Austrian users and later spreading across Europe--that enable users to research and buy computer products over the Internet. Financial details were not disclosed.

The company is headed by Felix Somm, the former head of CompuServe Central Europe, who employs a team of online community professionals.

Future community-oriented commerce ventures by Somm & Partner could involve business sectors with similar combined e-commerce and community needs. The community will feature personalized threaded discussion groups, chat rooms, buddy lists, electronic commerce and advertising content.

"It is our aim to be a neutral vendor of computer products and to offer our customers the best possible service. By giving users access to a wide range of personalized content, product information and reviews--and providing them with the opportunity to discuss issues with other users--we are ensuring users have a definitive source for computer support and shopping," said Enda-Gerard Breslin, chief technology officer of Somm & Partner.

The site will offer people the opportunity to discuss various products with other users or read articles from technology publications online. The Profile Database will be the key to the community, the company said. It will allow the company to datamine for valuable information--such as which products most people are interested in, what products get the best reviews, what problems occur, and the number of times a user visits a particular section of the site for information or to purchase a product.

Somm & Partner AG, based in Switzerland, is one of the first companies in Europe to build and run commercial virtual communities.

Proxicom develops Internet-based business solutions that unite business consulting, systems integration and strategic marketing.



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