"Tom Patterson, IBM's chief strategist for electronic commerce" -- now
there's a job description... RK
November 8, 1996 1:15 PM ET=20
AT&T rolls out plans for retail commerce over the Net
By Tom Davey
=A0AT&T Corp. today announced plans for a Nov. 15 launch of new services =
assist business customers in conducting retail commerce over the Internet.
Through a licensing deal with Open Market Inc., a purveyor of Internet
commerce software, the long distance heavyweight will offer a package of
services dubbed AT&T Secure Buy Services.
AT&T promises the turn-key offering will take care of order management,
online customer service, record-keeping, buyer authentication and secure
transaction processing. It also will provide tools to design catalogs.
"We're smoothing out the speed bumps on your journey to tomorrow," AT&T C=
Bob Allen told a gathering of business customers in New York. "You can lo=
the administrative work on us while you do what you do best, serving your
AT&T will provide the complete package, including the processing of up to
500 transactions per month, for a startup fee of $500 and a $395 monthly
fee to customers of its hosting service, said a spokeswoman.
To attract consumers to the sites, AT&T officials said they are consideri=
offering 100 free minutes of long distance service when consumers initiat=
their first World Wide Web transaction over the AT&T service.
Through a complimentary Web hosting offering, which also will be launched
Nov. 15, AT&T will design, build and manage Web sites for businesses.
AT&T's Web Marketing Solution will include Internet banner advertising on
the AT&T WorldNet Service Web site and a listing on AT&T's toll-free
Internet directory. Company officials went to great pains to explain how
their services would offer superior security and attract retail customers
for businesses through AT&T brand name awareness.
But a key competitor took the sales pitch with a grain of salt.
Using a standard co-developed by IBM, most businesses that ply their ware=
over the Web next year will be offering secure financial transactions
regardless of what hosting service they use, said Tom Patterson, IBM's
chief strategist for electronic commerce.