San Francisco, February 3, 2003 - CNET Channel, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNET Networks, Inc (Nasdaq: CNET) today announced a strategic partnership with the ASCII Group, Inc. (ASCII), the world's largest community of independent technology solution providers, resellers, and value-added resellers (VARs). The partnership gives ASCII's 2,000 members access to ChannelOnline, CNET Channel's sales cycle automation tool, as well as special access to ChannelOnline programs and training. Using ChannelOnline, solution providers and resellers can streamline the sales cycle by automating key business processes, reducing the time spent on administrate tasks and increasing the time spent on customer service.
"With its e-commerce storefronts and tools for ordering, quoting, and catalog and customer management, ChannelOnline is clearly the premier solution to help our community achieve greater efficiencies," said Alan Weinberger, chairman and CEO of ASCII. "ASCII is very excited to introduce the benefits of the ChannelOnline solution to our community of solutions providers."
ChannelOnline is an integrated Web-based application for VARs that connects and automates the entire sales cycle by pulling critical company information and resources together into one centralized location. As a result, VARs are better able to streamline the day-to-day processes associated with product sourcing, procurement, sales, and back-office integration.
"Using ChannelOnline, I can access real-time distributor information, create electronic quotes and orders, and take advantage of excellent customer management tools, helping me keep my competitive edge and offer my customers top of the line service and support," said Antoine Elghossain, President of ASCII member Information Automation Corporation (IAC) in Highstown, New Jersey.
"We're looking forward to further building our ChannelOnline community by adding one of the largest reseller networks to our membership base," said Albert de Heer, president of CNET Channel. "Efficiency is a key to success in the reseller business, and ChannelOnline raises the bar by leveraging the Internet to automate the reseller sales process. We're excited to introduce these capabilities to ASCII resellers, helping them reduce their operating costs and increase revenues and customer satisfaction."
In addition to special training, ASCII members also have the opportunity to learn about the ChannelOnline solution at ASCII's popular sales training conferences, which will be held in 10 cities throughout the United States in 2003.
About The ASCII Group, Inc. (ASCII)
The ASCII Group, Inc., was established in 1984, and is headquartered just outside of Washington, D.C. in Bethesda, Maryland. ASCII is the largest community of independent computer resellers in the world with more than 2,000 members in North America and with system wide end-user sales of approximately $10.5 billion. ASCII provides technology tools, products and services to assist independent information technology resellers in increasing profits, reducing costs, and growing their respective businesses. ASCII offers resellers the leverage of the group's collective position in the industry to positively influence hardware manufacturers, software developers, IT service suppliers, distributors, the media, the government and the customer community. The Company can be reached at (800) 394-2724, or on the Web at www.ascii.com.
About CNET Channel
CNET Channel (www.cnetchannel.com), a division of CNET Networks, is the world's leading independent source of product information, supporting both online catalogs and traditional sales processes with detailed content on over 3.2 million technology products worldwide. Over 2,100 high technology manufacturers and channel businesses in 35 national markets depend on CNET Channel to deliver world-class content solutions that maximize their sales effectiveness and minimize the cost and complexity of providing accurate and useful product information. Customers include Best Buy, CDW, CompUSA, Dell, HP, Insight, OfficeMax, Sony, Tech Data, Zones and many more.
About CNET Networks, Inc.
CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET, www.cnetnetworks.com) is an interactive media company that builds brands for people and the things they are passionate about, such as gaming, music, entertainment, technology, business, food, and parenting. The Company's leading brands include CNET, GameSpot, TV.com, MP3.com, CHOW, ZDNet and TechRepublic. Founded in 1992, CNET Networks has a strong presence in the US, Asia, and Europe.