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04/09/98 Daily Digest

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Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Ingram Micro pumps up ecommerce with pcOrder.com Ingram Micro's plans to compete with Web-based direct PC sellers moved a stage further yesterday as the company licensed pcOrder.com's on-line system configuration technology for its forthcoming ecommerce site. As reported in The Register in July (see Ingram wants a cut of Internet sales action), Ingram Micro is developing an ecommerce site, called PrimeAccess, which is designed to make it easier for resellers to order product. Ultimately, PrimeAccess will support resellers' own ecommerce activities, streamlining the ordering and supply chain from distributor to end user. When PrimeAccess was announced, Ingram chief technology officer Dave Carlson said it would offer a configuration utility. That feature is now in place, thanks to the deal with pcOrder.com. "What pcOrder does is enable us to embed the technology to do configuration into our suite of e-commerce offerings," said Ingram Micro president and worldwide COO Jeff Rodek. "It's really the next link in our chain of e-commerce offerings." Electronic configuration will be available for resellers buying Compaq Computer, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard PCs, non-branded systems, and finished goods, Rodek added. The technology will also allow Ingram sales staff to monitor product availability and pricing. According to the company, the pcOrder configurator will be made available to resellers in November -- PrimeAccess itself will be unveiled to the channel at a conference in Orlando, Florida next week. Eidos sales up Eidos, the company behind the pneumatic Tomb Raider Lara Croft, has announced that its sales have risen a massive 175 per cent in the three months until June this year. This reduced its £8.6 million loss to a £2.3 million loss before tax. Widlake joins DSG Dixons Stores Group has appointed Grant Widlake sales director at PC World Business Direct. He joins the group with an IT sales background, having previously been Northern sales manager with Info Products. Granada Learning hires Sherston Software boss Sherston Software loses its MD David Eccles, to Granada Learning, the educational IT arm of the Granada Media Group. He will take up the position of general manager at the company. Worldcom UK MD leaves company WorldCom UK MD Rob McLeod has resigned from the company, though he has yet to announce either why he left or where he is going to next. McLeod's move follows a number of recent departures from WorldCom UK and the company's $46 billion purchase of MCI, which is expected to get the go-ahead from the Federal Communications Commission shortly. Catalyst Systems acquires Decision Data Systems Catalyst Systems, the leading AS/400 reseller, has acquired Decision Data Systems Integration Group for an undisclosed sum. This demonstrates the company's aggressive growth strategy, it said. Decision Data's consultants will establish an NT-oriented business unit within Catalyst's existing Technology Solutions group. Group operations director Clare Findlay said that customers wanted NT as well as AS400-based solutions. ESD converts to joint-stock status German online software house ESD has changed its name to Metechnology AG, and converted to a share based organisation. The company has four offices in Leipzip, Paris, Munich and London. It now employs over 100 staff. Metechnology also announced the appointment of Professor von Schimmelmann, Dr Korber and Dr Page to the supervisory board of the company. Optio sets up in Europe through acquisition Optio Software, a developer of information output optimisation and customisation solutions for the healthcare and manufacturing markets, has bought its way into Europe through the acquisition of its European distributor, Competence software. Competence president Marie-Laurie Leclerq will become MD of Option Europe, which will operate throughout Europe from Paris. "The international expansion offers a tremendous opportunity to better service our customers, resellers and business partners by providing localised products and services to meet the growing demand for customised output for our global customers," said Optio president and CEO C. Wayne Cape.®

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