Deals boost e-commerce

As agencies turn to the Internet to purchase items ranging from information

technology to office supplies, companies are switching to electronic commerce

services to remain competitive.

This sudden rush to e-business has led Internet service providers, government

resellers and telecommunications companies to join the e-services rat race.

Two deals last week epitomize the move to e-business solutions. The

merger announcement March 7 of VeriSign Inc. and Network Solutions Inc.

and the partnership agreement between Qwest Communications International

Inc. and Tech Data Corp. promise to bring faster, safer and easier e-business

services to agencies and companies alike.

VeriSign's acquisition of NSI — the world's leading domain name registrar,

with more than 8.1 million sites — will allow the company to provide domain

name registration, basic World Wide Web design and secure Internet transactions.

"With Network Solutions as the gateway to establishing online identity

and Web presence, and VeriSign as the provider of Internet authentication,

validation and payment services, our combined company will serve as the

trust utility that will power the Internet economy," said Stratton Sclavos,

president and chief executive officer of VeriSign.

Thanks to its agreement with Qwest, finalized March 7, Tech Data can

offer access to high-bandwidth networks and cybercenters. Under the agreement,

Tech Data, which provides services, products and logistics management to

more than 100,000 technology resellers, will now be able to provide its

customers access to more than 24,500 miles of scalable optical networking


Qwest will gain an extended sales force to help customers "make the

successful transition to the e-business Internet economy," said Roger Attick,

Qwest's senior vice president for alternate channel markets. Qwest provides

secure broadband, Internet-based data, voice and image communications to

businesses and individuals.

Qwest is a growing force in the federal market. Since 1998, Qwest's

federal division has become the fourth-largest telecommunications supplier

in the federal market and has received more than $500 million in government



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