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Brokerage's Search Ends With iPhrase

Adding to its roster of financial services clients, iPhrase Technologies, a provider of self-service search and navigation software, has signed a deal with Linsco/Private Ledger (LPL), an independent brokerage firm.

The privately held Cambridge, Mass., firm also counts Charles Schwab & Co., ING, Mellon Bank, Nasdaq and TD Waterhouse as customers.

Initially, LPL will use iPhrase's One Step product to search unstructured Web content and documents on the firm's extranet. Eventually, the service will be extended to include databases, allowing access to stock research and screening tools.

"Our Web site has grown to over 6,000 pages and navigation required too many clicks by our representatives," Rochelle Putnam, senior vice president of LPL's Service Center said in a statement. "Therefore we had several goals in mind when we established our relationship with iPhrase."

They include: reducing calls center inquiries by making oft-requested information easier to find online; better organizing and presenting information for its representatives; and analyzing incoming queries to guide future site development projects.

Neither the duration nor value of the deal was disclosed.

iPhrase, which also has offices in San Mateo, Calif., was founded by technology leaders from MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science and business leaders from Bain & Company.

iPhrase's deal comes during a busy week for search companies. Ask Jeeves' enterprise division inked a deal with a drug maker Novartis to provide search for 22 product and disease Web sites and Fast Search & Transfer said its technology is powering CareerBuilder.com, an online recruitment and resume service.