Amazon was launched in 1994 and established itself as an online book seller providing books but also an online community for customers to share information and opinions about books with one another. The company soon realized the potential in leveraging the platform and infrastructure to offer new categories of products, turning into an online department store. Amazon also supplies e-commerce services and features to power other companies' web sites. Another way of leveraging its software is the supply of e-commerce services to syndicated stores that sell Amazons products on other companies' web sites resulting in distributed distribution channels. To provide the largest catalog possible on its platform, other companies including competitors are allowed to utilize the platform establishing Amazon as a broker of transactions and leaser of web space to other retailers. By bringing buyer and seller together, collecting the buyer's funds when the order is placed, and maintaining advantageous payment terms with suppliers, Amazon has done with online retailing what Dell did with computers. Further leveraging its assets and capabilities Amazon started to offer a number of services such as storage services, the lease of computing power, together with an end-to-end product sales and logistics platform, handling orders, payments and shipments.