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My Yahoo Enterprise Edition Gets Facelift

Yahoo's transformation from an ad-dependent Web portal to a full-fledged B2B services firm took another step forward Wednesday with the rollout of a revamped My Yahoo Enterprise Edition 5.0 targeting corporate customers.

The new-look My Yahoo Enterprise Edition (see demo), which is scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter this year, is the first major facelift for the popular my.yahoo.com consumer-focused portal, which can be personalized to pipe third-party content feeds to a single Web page.

"This is the first major overhaul of the My Yahoo consumer product. With this upgrade, corporate customers have access to content from about 2,000 publications. We're adding hundreds of additional business resources and content feeds and providing a much deeper database of business information," said David Gee, vice president and general manager of Yahoo's Portal Solutions division.

Gee told internetnews.com the My Yahoo Enterprise Edition 5.0 upgrade would let corporate customers manipulate the content feeds by keywords, a feature that is sure to be a hit with IT managers. "You can customize modules to deliver a slew of things and because the data source is significantly broader and not available to the consumer offering, we think we have something that will be useful to a wide array of enterprise customers," he added.

Yahoo is planning a huge marketing splash to hype the upgrade. An ad campaign, targeting knowledge workers and chief information officers goes live on August 19 and includes print placements in The Wall Street Journal and PC World, and through targeted online impressions across the Yahoo network and The Wall Street Journal Online.

Yahoo, which competes directly with content aggregators ScreamingMedia and Yellowbrix in the space, has already found clients among portal software vendors like BEA, SAP, Sun Microsystems, and TIBCO Software.

And, with portal-server software becoming a strong seller in the burgeoning market for e-business software, Gee said Yahoo's Portal Solutions business can make some serious noise in the coming months. Specifically, the My Yahoo Enterprise Edition is used by companies with large workforces to give employees, customers and partners access to news, stock prices and weather information. Yahoo can tie Microsoft Outlook clients into the Web-based interface, a key feature that can help enterprises with workforce management online.

Gee said pricing for the revamped service is two-tiered, depending on whether it would be used inside the firewall as a pure intranet product or whether software vendors are offering it to licensees or franchises. As an intranet product, pricing is fixed on a per-feed basis and for extranets, where there is no knowledge of how many people are accessing the feed, Yahoo is charging a per-cpu fee.

For a 10,000-employee corporate customer using the My Yahoo portal on an intranet, Gee estimates the service would cost between $5 to $10 per user annually.

A key component in the upgrade, Gee explained, was the addition of newer content-manipulation tools to IT managers. For instance, a newstracker module can be set up to pipe content based on keywords, instead of the existing personalization on the free my.yahoo.com portal which separates content feeds by news sources. "Say your interest is aircraft, you can create a newstracker by keyword 'aircraft'. That is a neat addition that's really hard to do," Gee said.

Yahoo has also exposed APIs to let internal applications call modules that are specific to a company. The internal modules can be married with a slew of external information from eh public My Yahoo consumer portal to create an all-encompassing Web destination for enterprise customers and their clients.

To help corporate customers personalize the service to their business needs, Gee said Yahoo's premium add-on packages for the product upgrade would include:

  • Business Research Package -- which adds hundreds of premium business content sources and specialized modules for tracking company and industry news, profiles and performance by keyword, stock symbol, and industry segments.
  • Industry Packages -- each package adds hundreds of premium business content sources for a targeted vertical industry. Packages will be available for banking, finance, government, education, health care, pharmaceuticals, high-tech, computers and telecommunications.
  • "In addition, portal administrators can use it to embed 'content in-context' in their portals and portal-based business applications. The end result will be content modules that dynamically refresh based on changes to surrounding modules and applications," he added.