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ROUND ROCK, TX-Dell Computers Inc., the largest employer in the Austin region, is launching a B2B marketplace to streamline purchasing and open virtual doors for new customers for its suppliers and buyers.

Dell Marketplace will enable suppliers and buyers to leverage the company’s e-commerce expertise and make use of strategic Internet infrastructure partnerships. The cyber-marketplace is designed to streamline purchasing and open doors for new customers. It is scheduled to be up and running in October.

“More and more of our customers are turning to the Internet as a primary channel to purchase the goods and services needed to conduct their businesses,” says Joe Marengi, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Relationship Group.

Forrester Research predicts online business trade will reach $2.7 trillion in 2004, of which 53% will flow through e-marketplaces, a 200% compounded growth rate per year over the next four years.

The Dell operation is designed around a horizontal marketplace instead of a vertical one, which the company says puts more suppliers, buyers and business owners in touch with each other much quicker than systems now in place. 3M, Pitney Bowes Inc. and Motorola already have signed strategic alliances for the marketplace.

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