Beyond.com and Virtualis Enter Internet Marketing Deal

Online software seller Beyond.com (Nasdaq: BYND) and California-based ISP Virtualis today announced a deal to cross-market each others products and services.

The deal is of industry interest in that it represents an ISP marketing not only Internet access and e-commerce hosting capabilities, but also hawking the products of a specific vendor, in this case, Beyond.com. It is also a possible new trend for Beyond.com, which has launched a major marketing initiative in late 1998, to become the Amazon.com of the software industry.

In related news released in late December, Beyond.com announced that it will operate an exclusive online software store for EarthWeb, a provider of online services to information technology (IT) professionals. The store is located at www.earthwebdirect.com.

Beyond.com will use an upcoming version of Virtualis’ shopping-cart creator, CartSnap(TM), to allow its online resellers to easily create Internet storefronts with real-time e-commerce capabilities. According to Virtualis, an earlier version of its e-commerce software is currently in use by more than 29,000 online merchants, featuring payment integration and dynamic database links.

As part of this deal, Virtualis will offer Beyond.com affiliates special discounts on Internet hosting services.

Said Christopher Lyman, CEO of Virtualis. “Beyond.com’s wide selection of productivity tools will help our affiliates close new sales.”

Corporate Background

Beyond.com

Founded in November of 1994 with only three employees, the company went public in June 1998. Beyond.com, previously known as Software.net, now offers more than 33,000 software titles from 350 publishers, including Adobe, Lotus, McAfee, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Sun Microsystems and Symantec. Through wide-scale advertising, the company has become, arguably, the Internet’s best-known direct source of software from multiple vendors. The company is based in Sunnyvale, California.

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