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July 31, 1997


Satyam Infoway to enter e-commerce business

The Madras-based Satyam Infoway, a provider of electronic commerce solutions, has entered into a strategic alliance with the US-based Open Market Inc, a leading supplier of Internet commerce software.

Through this alliance, Satyam Infoway will distribute OMI's products and services in the country on an exclusive basis.

The alliance will primarily target large businesses, information service providers and private Internet service providers. According to R Ramaraj, director, Satyam Infoway, Open Market's solutions will make it easy for Indian companies in industries such as automobiles and engineering to do business electronically with their dealers in various regions.

Padma Chandrasekaran, vice-president, Satyam Infoway, said the products could also be used by firms supplying market and equity research information to retail their products online.

By using OMI's products ISPs could significantly enhance the revenues accruing to them from providing just basic Internet access, she added.

She said Satyam Infoway, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Hyderabad-based Satyam Computer Services, was favourably positioned to provide these solutions as it is the only company in the country with a multi-city Internet protocol-based network.

The company currently operates a network with nodes in five major cities and plans to eventually expand it to 25 cities.

According to Paul Bunn, regional director (Asia-Pacific), open market, the Indian market may emerge as a huge one for Internet commerce solutions once the regulatory issues are settled.

Founded in 1994, OMI develops, markets, licenses, and supports high-performance software products that allow business-to-consumer and business-to-business Internet commerce.

Open Market's technology enables the separation of the management of business transactions from the management of content, thereby allowing companies to securely, centrally, and efficiently manage business transactions over the Internet.

The company, headquartered in Massachusetts, has sales offices in North America, Europe and Australia. It had revenues of $22.5 millions in 1996. Its products are customised for end users by partners (or commerce service providers) - like Satyam Infoway - in markets across the world.

For Satyam Infoway, the deal is the second such alliance - the company is currently in an exclusive agreement with the US-based Sterling Commerce, a leading electronic data interchange (EDI) service company. Satyam Infoway provides a range of electronic commerce services - from managed EDI services to email and data transfer services.

The company, which plans to become an ISP, is targeting revenues of Rs 1000 million within the next three years.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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