IBM is launching version 5.6 of its WebSphere Commerce platform at the end of this month.
Starter Stores is a collection of business processes configured to address different business requirements for different customer segments such as business to business, business to consumer, and partner and channel management.
"If you start with a b-to-c approach, there is a b-to-c configuration that gets you at least 80% there," said Bob Werkema, product manager for WebSphere Commerce.
The Starter Stores feature was added in response to demand from some of IBM's largest customers looking for less customisation and more preconfiguration.
Version 5.6 will also include a strengthened Business Context Engine which will take customer-specific data out so that the same context engine platform can be deployed in different customer environments.
Some of the personalisation capabilities infused in Version 5.6 should work well in concert with the personalization capabilities contained in the company's WebSphere Portal product, some observers believed.
Dwight Davis, a vice president and practitioner with Summit Strategies, said he liked the ability to simplify management complexity. "If IBM has a solution that allows that kind of individual personalisation on a broad scale without imposing an undue management burden, that could be a fairly significant value add to the product."
IBM has also strengthened the product's analytics engine that will allow users to create a full functioning data mart from which they can carry out data mining, reporting, and related business intelligence functions. Version 5.6 will give users the ability to identify trends and patterns in buying behaviours whether the customer is a b-to-b or b-to-c customer.
The enhanced data mining capabilities will also include data mining models out of the box. Version 5.6 features a single software server, deployable on multiple hardware, with a single point of administration, and a single master catalogue against which all business models can execute against.
Ephraim Schwartz and Ed Scannell write for InfoWorld