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A US firm that makes software to manage large business to business portal sites said yesterday that Compaq, and other big industry firms, including Ingram Micro, were forced to use third-party software in order to manage their own e-commerce systems effectively. Barry Bycoff, chairman and CEO of Netegrity, revealed that Compaq bought its business-to-business portal management software SiteMinder last year to cope with demands on its Internet site. Bycoff said that it previously used an internally devised system but needed to scale up to 13 million users, which the existing system could not manage. A similar situation existed at Ingram Micro, which wanted a scalable system to cope with its worldwide chain of 200,000 dealers, he said. Bycoff also claimed that his firm was on the verge of signing further large IT firms facing the same problem of being unable to cope with shared services, logins and personalisation for their intranets and extranets. The company, which trades on Nasdaq (NETE), said it had just signed a deal with a major credit card company to cope with 15 million users, and will scale up to 40 million users. Netegrity already has a clutch of blue chip firms under its wings including Virgin Airlines, AT&T, Merrill Lynch, Arthur Andersen, Qualcomm, Delta and BT, Bycoff said. It has opened European and Asian offices, and Bycoff said it was now talking to ASPs and dotcoms as it moves its business model into the consumer arena too. The firm's software comes in site licence form, with 1000 users costing $16 each. That price falls dramatically for one million users, to 50 cents each. For more that millions of users, the prices again fall dramatically to fractions of cents, Bycoff said. ®

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