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SkyTel, Digital Commerce Launch E-Commerce Site for Government Sales

SkyTel Communications Inc. and Digital Commerce Corp. launched an e-commerce site designed to make it easier for government agencies to buy paging and messaging services.

As part of the new venture, government buyers can place orders online at skytel.fedcenter.com using government credit cards, electronic purchase forms or pre-populated purchase forms for fax transmission. SkyTel said its nationwide sales force will assist government buyers in learning to use the new e-commerce site.

SkyTel will use the electronic ordering capability of FedCenter, a Digital Commerce subsidiary, for the large volume of purchase orders it expects to generate through its GSA paging contract.

"SkyTel was looking for a way to be a leader in the federal government's efforts to streamline the procurement process and provide an economical government-centric solution," said George Spohn, head of SkyTel's government sales. "FedCenter does both. The government buying process is far too complex to utilize a typical e- commerce software solutions package. Digital Commerce has developed FedCenter as a cost- effective tool that will provide more effective order processing and payment for government purchases."

Financial terms of the deal between the two companies were not disclosed.

SkyTel said it will offer product lines ranging from traditional numeric pagers to the newest two-way advanced messaging pagers that exchange messages with other pagers and receive messages via e-mail and the Internet.

"FedCenter is an electronic overlay of the government buying process," said Tony Bansal, president and CEO of Reston, VA-based Digital Commerce. "We believe that over time, FedCenter should maintain large sales volumes for the vendor, while reducing the number of personal sales visits representatives must now make. Concurrently, it reduces the time required and cost involved in government procurement."