RealTime IT News

AOL, PurchasePro Announce Additional Alliances

America Online, Inc. and PurchasePro have reached agreements with Information Markets Corp. (IMC), InsureZone and Chinadotcom Corp. to establish private-label marketplaces that will be interconnected with the Netscape Netbusiness, an e-commerce market jointly developed by AOL and PurchasePro.

In addition, IMC, a provider of fee-based question and answer marketplaces, will become a provider of small business advice for the Marketplace.

InsureZone is a full-service, nationwide "bricks and clicks" marketplace that provides access to commercial insurance and Chinadotcom Corp. is an integrated Internet company offering e-business solutions, portal and e-marketing services.

In addition to creating a private-label solution accessible through Netbusiness Marketplace, IMC will also be enhancing the Marketplace's functionality and content. By providing a customized Q&A solution for the MyBusiness, Finance, Human Resources and Marketing channels on Netbusiness, IMC will allow users to ask questions related to small business, their vertical industry or other topics.

Experts will answer and provide professional services, at times negotiating a fee, and users can also share their own advice and get paid for it, making this an open expert advice exchange.

The new agreements announced follow ten other strategic marketplace deals announced last week, including those with Hewlett-Packard Company, BroadVision, Inc. and Spherion Corporation, to accelerate AOL's and PurchasePro's B2B and e-commerce efforts.

The Netbusiness Marketplace links hundreds of communities and marketplaces to allow small, medium and large businesses to buy, sell and interact online. The new agreements expand the procurement and supplier communities currently participating in the Netbusiness Marketplace, which also encompasses more than 140,000 businesses from the Las Vegas-based PurchasePro's network of more than 290 private-label marketplaces.

Netbusiness Marketplace also provides the opportunity for small to medium-sized companies to create specialized industry-specific marketplaces.

"We are delighted to announce the addition of IMC, InsureZone and Chinadotcom Corp. -- all leaders in their respective fields -- to the ever expanding online trading and information communities available through the Netscape Netbusiness Marketplace," said Fred Singer, senior vice president of AOL Interactive Services and general manager of Netscape Netbusiness. "By further expanding the industry-specific and broad-based markets available to buyers and sellers from companies of all sizes, the effectiveness and relevance of the Netbusiness Marketplace increases exponentially."

Chris Benyo, senior vice president of Marketing of PurchasePro, added, "The combination of PurchasePro's industry-leading e-commerce technology with AOL's vast consumer and small business customer base is a powerful draw for companies looking to create branded e-marketplaces that foster content, community, and commerce for the small to mid-sized business market. These new partners illustrate the scalability of our solution to power businesses of all sizes and interconnect hundreds of branded marketplaces."

The Dulles, Va.-based AOL is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner, Inc. and maintains a Web site at http://www.aol.com. PurchasPro has a site at http://www.purchasepro.com.