US Report: Citibank licenses Netscape software

In a major agreement, Citibank will license a line of Netscape software as the foundation for an electronic-commerce infrastructure, the companies announced last night.

The deal is part of Citibank's bid to build Internet-based customer services around open-standards-based, off-the-shelf software which the bank believes is more adaptable to its customer needs. In the past, the banking giant has developed software itself.

Netscape hopes the deal will prove significant for the company, which beat out competitors including Microsoft. Terms of the pact were not disclosed.

"This announcement with Citibank demonstrates the significant customer momentum behind Netscape's strategy of enabling enterprises to act as service providers, delivering a full range of applications as Internet services to their internal and external customers," said Netscape President and CEO Jim Barksdale. "Citibank is leveraging Netscape software for its electronic commerce applications around the world."

Citibank is licensing Netscape's CommerceXpert line of e-commerce applications as well as its line of server software, including Application Server, Directory Server and SuiteSpot, for building intranets and extranets.

Citibank said it plans to build Internet Protocol-based networks for the use of company employees and corporate customers sometimes called intranets and extranets, respectively, based on Netscape's software. It also plans to roll out banking services to consumer customers over the Internet.

"Our goal is to be one click, one call, one mile away from customers," said Citibank Executive VP Ed Horowitz. "We have shifted away from building everything in-house to buying and building and integrating," he added. "We're using open platforms and open architectures, so as to be very flexible."

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