U.S. Robotics Inc., a leading modem and remote communications vendor, said it formed an alliance with Information Resource Engineering Inc. to sell remote electronic commerce technologies.

The companies said their joint offerings can pave the way for secure corporate connectivity and virtual private networking, as well as secure on-line transactions. A company could equip its sales force with mobile computers to get access to internal systems via the Internet. Or with issuance of digital signatures, a mortgage transaction could be completed on-line.

"Our goals in this partnership are quite aggressive, and we believe clients of both companies will reap rewards immediately," said Anthony Caputo, chairman of Baltimore-based Information Resource Engineering, which provides network security products to Banc One Corp., Chase Manhattan Bank, J.P. Morgan & Co., Euroclear, and the Central Bank of Sweden, among others.

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