A Lifeboat for Sinking E-Commerce Sites

Minneapolis-based e-commerce outsourcing company Digital River Inc. launched an “E-Rescue Program” for online operations faced with
service providers and/or hosting companies that are failing or have already
gone out of business.


“An increasing number of e-commerce service providers are shutting down
operations or battling layoffs, revenue shortfalls, slowing sales and growing
debt,” said Joel Ronning, Digital River’s CEO.


“Unfortunately, it is often the companies receiving services from these
e-commerce service providers who are the last to learn the real facts about
their vendor’s financial instability,” he said. “In some cases, companies are
left hanging when their sites unexpectedly go dark. We can offer these
companies a transition plan to a world-class e-commerce system that can keep
their e-businesses growing.”


The E-Rescue Program can restore downed sites in as little as seven days, the
company said, adding that it already serves over two million Internet pages
per day and handles hundreds of thousands of orders per day for its 8,000
client companies.


There’s no doubt many ISPs are in trouble. Last month, the U.S. Court of
Appeals in the District of Columbia upheld a ruling by the Federal
Communications Commission, which says that incumbent local exchange carriers
(ILECs) are not required to offer discounted pricing of advanced
telecommunications services to ISPs.


The
ruling was a blow to many ISPs
who are trying to glean a profit from the
largely unprofitable residential digital subscriber line (DSL) business.
Providers counted on discounted pricing from the Bells to increase margins,
but the FCC and the courts felt a proviso in the Telecommunications Act of
1996 addressing the discounted sale of advanced (Internet) services applied
only to the end-user.


Digital River’s commerce services include e-commerce strategy, site
development and hosting, order and transaction management, system
integration, product fulfillment and returns, e-marketing and customer
service. Clients include Symantec, Fujitsu, 3M, Siemens, Nabisco, Polaris,
Novell, Autodesk, SONICblue and Adaptec.

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