INTERSHOP Communications (Neuer Markt: ISH), a leading provider of online store software, announced on Thursday a new partnership with Compaq Computer Corporation to deliver cross-platform e-commerce solutions for enterprises and Internet service providers. Under this new deal, INTERSHOP will provide e-commerce software running on Windows NT and UNIX for Compaq ProLiant and AlphaServer server platforms.
Compaq is a top provider of Internet servers, with more than 34% market share according to Computer Intelligence (InfoBeads report, February 1999). The company will introduce INTERSHOP solutions to its customers through its international sales force and reseller channel of more than 25,000 VARs.
According to Kaspar Rorsted, Compaq’s vice president of global electronic commerce, “INTERSHOP’s strengths such as cross-platform availability, rapid deployment, and scalability will help build on Compaq’s commitment to provide our customers with business-critical e-commerce solutions.”
The Big Picture
This announcement is significant because it emphasizes the need for e-commerce software developers to provide cross-platform solutions. While INTERSHOP enjoys considerable market share in Europe, the company is still lagging in the lucrative U.S. market. However, the ability is provide consistent cross-platform solutions could be a big boost for INTERSHOP. Deals with national ISP MindSpring Enterprises (Nasdaq: MSPG) and Compaq could serve to increase brand awareness and propel INTERSHOP into increased prominence.
This deal with Compaq also positions INTERSHOP to better compete for Dell’s attention. Dell recently announced that it will offer formal technical support for Red Hat Linux-based servers. A cross-platform solution from INTERSHOP that can run on Windows NT, UNIX and Linux could clinch a broad-based deal for INTERSHOP, although there has been no announcements from either INTERSHOP or Dell.
The Linux Factor
Earlier this week, INTERSHOP announced that it will release a version of its software for the Red Hat Linux OS. According to IDC Research, Linux was the fastest-growing server operating environment in 1998, capturing more than 17 percent of all server operating system shipments.
“Becoming the first pure e-commerce company to support Linux is an important step for INTERSHOP to set another standard in our industry,” said Ed Callan, INTERSHOP vice president of marketing.
INTERSHOP will work with privately-held Red Hat Software, a developer of the Linux operating system. Red Hat is supported by industry leaders such as Compaq, IBM, Novell, Intel, Netscape and Oracle Corporation, who have taken minority equity investments in the company.