RealTime IT News

IBNL to Deliver Free Commerce Web Sites to Schools

Interactive Buyers Network International Ltd. (IBNL) launched www.ourschoolsite.com, a new service designed to provide free commerce-ready Web sites to colleges, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools.

The "free site" program is designed to be used by schools, and the company expects that sales representatives of scholastic product companies will be working with IBNL to introduce the service into the marketplace.

Sales representatives, on behalf of schools they sell to, can log onto the ourschool site, where they complete a form that registers the name of the school. Once registered, the site is ready for use by the school, and can be personalized and expanded by the school using IBNL's system that provides for a simplified process of developing and maintaining a commerce-ready Web site.

Schools have the ability to use the site for fund-raising; selling products to students, such as classroom supplies, books and school uniforms; and for the dissemination of information to students, parents and faculty. Further, password-protected document delivery for homework and other document distribution comes pre-loaded in these sites.

IBNL said it has tapped a network of more than 1,000 independent sales representatives already servicing more than 100,000 schools in America. The participating sales representatives, by signing up schools they sell to, will share in revenue generated from these sites.

The company said it will generate revenue from these sites in two ways: first, from the sale of banner advertising on the school sites; and second, any user visiting a school site can create his/her own commerce-ready Web site in minutes without technical training, software or the need and cost of a consultant. The cost of these non-school sites to the subscriber is $24.95 per month, or $29.95 for a site with secure e-commerce capabilities.

"The reaction that we have gotten from schools and a number of independent sales representatives has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, we have already made plans to host a two-day workshop for independent sales representatives during the first week of March," said Richard McShirley, vice president of IBNL. "There are over 100,000 schools in our target market, and we believe most of those schools do not have commerce-ready Web sites."

IBNL also operates the Virtual SOURCE network, a proprietary online system designed to enhance business-to-business electronic commerce. Buyers use the network to obtain competitive bids on a variety of goods and services. The company's Virtual SOURCE Publisher allows almost any user to build his/her own simple Web site in minutes, without technical training, specialized software, or the need and cost of a consultant.