Online Sales Channel Heats up

The AS/400 Internet sales market heated up as Real (Woodland Hills, Calif.) introduced its RealXpress Web commerce channel for AS/400 users during the Fall Common Conference and Expo in Anaheim, Calif.

RealXpress (www.realxpress.com) lets customers research and purchase AS/400 software such as tools, middleware, utilities and compilers directly on the Web. While the initial list of 22 products is from IBM, the company is now pursuing third-party software vendors to broaden its portfolio.

IBM products currently available include Lotus Domino, ADSM, CICS/400, Data Propagator, DB2, Firewall, Image Plus, MQ Series, Net.Commerce, Query/400 and ILE and VisualAge development tools. The site also provides links to professional consultants and a resource center with links to buyers guides, white papers, threaded discussion forums and training.

RealXpress joins Appsmall.com Inc. (Rochester, Minn.), which was the first effort of its kind in the AS/400 market to develop an “Internet assisted software channel” to sell ISV software online. Of note, Appsmall.com (www.appsmall.com) is based on an AS/400 running Lotus Domino.

However, one of the differences between RealXpress and Appsmall.com is that Appsmall.com does not support direct sales, all purchases are through the channel. “If it is under $10,000 we sell it, if it is over $10,000 we do lead referral,” says RealXpress’ Steve Niccoli. “It is a new concept and we are trying not to step on our service providers.”