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October 7, 1999

Centerbeam Signs Up Web ISV Partners

By CBR Staff Writer

Centerbeam Inc, the Santa Clara based start-up that offers complete outsourcing services for small businesses yesterday announced partnerships with nine third party software vendors to offer those companies’ on-line applications as part of its outsourced offering. The deals were signed with,,,, NetAbacus,,, Website Pros and The companies offer everything from office supplies, PCs and software to actual hosted applications including salesforce automation software (UpShot), HR applications (EmployeeService) and financials (NetAbacus).

Centerbeam won’t resell the ISVs’ software, nor will it host the applications on their behalf. Rather it will advertise the services to its customers who will then receive a discount – in the majority of circumstances – for signing up. Centerbeam is calling the service its MarketPlace, although that’s somewhat of a misnomer since there won’t be any collaborative buying and selling between companies. All relationships formed will be strictly on a one-to-one basis, although Centerbeam doesn’t rule out the possibility of establishing tighter-company links some time into the future.

Certainly, it couldn’t offer the level of integration that the likes of ERP giants SAP AG and Oracle Corp are trying to achieve with their collaborative commerce environments, but being able to provide customers with combined billing and support facilities for multiple vendors would definitely be a step forward.

Although Centerbeam argues it’s still early days – the company has only been operational for a couple of months – it doesn’t want to sit on its laurels for too long, especially with giants like Oracle beginning to encroach on the small business space with offerings like its Business OnLine application hosting service.

According to Gordon Ronald, director of strategic relations, Centerbeam will start to work more closely with some of its partners over time, including educating their respective salesforces to enable them to jointly market and sell each other’s products. But at the moment, the company wants to concentrate on building out its partner portfolio and finding best of breed products and services to fill their customers’ requirements. We expect the marketplace to become very crowded, very quickly, Ronald said. As part of phase two, we’ll bubble up some of those relationships into tighter sales, marketing and support offerings.

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