Intershop Gives Hosting Products "Sell Anywhere" Capabilities

San Francisco-based Intershop Communications, a provider of sell-side e-commerce applications, has unveiled Intershop 4.2, the latest version of the Intershop 4 application suite. The suite allows small and medium-size businesses to sell direct and indirect on the Internet. Intershop has also launched the Intershop 4 Universal Marketplace Enabler (ISUME), which allows merchants to participate in online marketplaces.

Intershop 4.2, which includes Hosting and ePages, is designed to give online sellers, service providers and enterprises an upgrade path from entry level e-commerce Web sites to advanced multi-store hosting and dedicated server solutions. The company claims it is the first product to enable hosted seller communities to sell products directly to customers as well as through online marketplaces and portals.

The Universal Marketplace Enabler is a set of developer tools designed to help service providers integrate Intershop 4.2 sell-side e-commerce applications with any electronic marketplace. The developer's toolkit allows sellers and suppliers to exchange catalog, product, order, customer and content data with remote e-marketplaces in real time, as well as integrate into back-end systems.

The Intershop 4.2 upgrade plus pack is free. For Intershop Hosting customers, the plus pack is available for download from the back office section of the software. For Intershop e-Pages customers, the plus pack is available from Intershop's Web site (http://www.intershop.com/support) or on CD.

Intershop looks like a company on the rise. It boasts more than 3,000 customers worldwide, and more than 100,000 e-commerce sites have licensed its products. The company experienced a 250 percent increase in revenue in the first quarter of this year over revenue for the same quarter of 1999. That increase was enough to give the company its first profitable quarter.

Intershop also received a boost by becoming an HP partner earlier this summer. The two companies forged an alliance to deliver solutions based on Intershop enfinity, a sell-side e-commerce application. Although HP made no equity investment in Intershop, it made what HP execs called "substantial" marketing commitments. HP and Intershop also revealed they were exploring the possibility of integrating HP's e-speak with Intershop technology.