Behind the Scenes at boats.com: More Than Meets the Eye

Cutting-Edge Technologies, Innovative Integrators
Power New Marine Marketplace for $100 Billion Industry

SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2000 - Building a Web site is fast and furious business. Building a business, on the other hand, takes time. The two disciplines together create the potential to transform an entire $100 billion industry. San Francisco-based boats.com is meeting that challenge by uniting Internet technology, market vision and 500 years of marine industry expertise to help make the consumer experience of buying and owning a boat as satisfying as boating itself.

Boats.com has assembled a deep team of marine industry experts that know the ins and outs and the whos and hows to streamline the industry's fragmented demand chain of 10,000-plus manufacturers, brokers, dealers, marinas, boatyards and service businesses. Just as critical to boats.com is the intensive development, integration and testing efforts to build a sustaining and powerful Internet presence. In other words, boats.com is building the foundation for real business, not just another pretty Web site.

"A lot of e-commerce sites get into trouble when they, in effect, plan for failure by opening their storefront without developing an adequate back-end," says Rolando Esteverena, CEO, boats.com. "We're trying to transform the boating consumer experience to offer more choices, better information and ultimately make buying a boat as pleasant as boating itself. E-commerce sites should offer a trouble-free and compelling experience, and to deliver that experience for more than 20 million boaters worldwide, we needed to plan to succeed beyond our wildest imaginations."

Boats.com, a site aimed at creating a comprehensive marketplace for the marine industry, is being developed in conjunction with Scient, The eBusiness Systems InnovatorTM. In less than nine months, the joint Scient and boats.com team will have integrated best-of-breed software and hardware from Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, iPlanet and Dynabase/Lyris to build a robust e-commerce infrastructure for maximum performance, uptime, ease-of-use and security. From day one, the state-of-the-art e-commerce destination will be designed to link millions of users with expert marine information, boat show directories, service guides, and more than 30,000 new and used boat listings representing $10 billion in marine inventory.

"Boats.com came to us with a model that seems to transcend the buzzwords of B2B and B2C, and which plans to bring together consumers and industry players to create a new boating experience," said Christine Gardner, vice president and general manager of eMarkets at Scient. "Rapidly building a eBusiness is our core business. Along the way, we're translating our knowledge in building eBusinesses to breathe life into their business model."

The technical and editorial staff at boats.com are working with Scient to build a dynamic e-commerce marketplace in Java and Unix environments, with Sun Microsystems servers, an iPlanet Web server and an Oracle8i database as key platforms powering the failsafe system. Dynabase/Lyris provides XML-based, object-database driven content management for the site. Development tools include TogetherSoft LLC's Together/J object modeling software, Embarcadero Technologies Inc.'s ER/Studio relational database modeling toolkit and the DOORS requirements tracking solution.

Site operations will be hosted at professionally managed facilities in New York, San Francisco, and London run by MimEcom Corp., a provider of systems management services. Available 24x7 with global monitoring by Mercury Interactive, boats.com will ensure user interactions are secure, fast and accurate. The site will run across a fully redundant network based on the latest Cisco routers, switches and firewalls, ensuring customers and affiliates will receive the highest levels of reliability and integrity.

About boats.com

Boats.com is building the premier online hub for the boating community and the marine industry. The boats.com site will enable boat users, manufacturers and resellers - including yacht brokers, boat dealers, marinas, boatyards, and other marine service businesses - to participate in a thriving online marketplace, opening up new commercial opportunities for the industry while enhancing the consumer's boating experience.

The boats.com management team is made up of boating and Web and Internet business veterans, whose depth and breadth of experience has enabled boats.com to build and leverage strong strategic partnerships in a the brief time since the company's inception. Founded in 1999, boats.com is a private, venture capital funded business located at Pier 38, The Embarcadero, in San Francisco.

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Contacts:

Ken Grimes
boats.com
415.947.5015
kgrimes@boats.com

Matt Krebsbach
Applied Communications
415.365.0222
mkrebsbach@appliedcom.com