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RealTime IT News

AOL, Scient Target Enterprise Market

Scient, Inc. has signed a multi-year co-marketing agreement with America Online, Inc., to deliver services targeting business and financial services clients. As part of its new efforts to expand beyond its huge but slowing consumer customer base, AOL will partner with Scient to co-market, sell and deliver Scient's business solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The alliance clearly targets the same small enterprise market as Microsoft Corp. , but it is hardly the Dulles, Va.-based AOL's first foray into the business arena. Its online business services already offers global directory maintenance, network security and hosted e-mail, advantages Scient hopes to exploit.

"No company in the world knows more than AOL about scaling large Web sites, managing heavy traffic, hosting, and creating robust platforms and a global infrastructure. AOL built these leading capabilities to serve its consumer members, but that expertise is tremendously valuable to today's business clients as well," said Jay Norman, global managing partner of Scient's Financial Services practice.

Scient currently provides Internet and technology consulting services to a number of large business clients including AT&T, British Airways, FedEx, Wells Fargo, and Major League Baseball. Last year, the New York City-based bought out its rival, iXL Enterprises. The deal doubled the size of Scient.

"This agreement allows Scient to market leading AOL products to our business clients. AOL's secure instant messaging and e-mail technologies add a new dimension to Scient's Wealth Management offering, for example," said Norman. "In the past, financial advisers were not able to send e-mail or instant messages to their clients because they weren't secure and in line with regulatory standards. AOL's new business-oriented services change all that and enable companies to offer greater collaboration and better service between financial advisors and their clients."

The New York-based Scient, in turn, will use AOL's experience in areas including the building and maintenance of global directories, secure e-mail and instant messaging to offer new and enhanced services to its own business and financial services clients.

Similarly, AOL, the wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner hopes to expand its reach into the business market by leveraging Scient's professional service, customer experience management, and product implementation expertise, as well as Scient's experience in the financial services, media, consumer retail, pharmaceuticals and transportation industries.

"Scient has built hundreds of sites, common platforms and solutions for some of the largest businesses in the world. We understand how customers, technology and costs intersect and the challenges and opportunities businesses face within that consolidation," said Ron Gable, Scient's global managing partner for the company's enterprise practice."

A key Scient offering is Web Consolidation, which addresses the problem of a single company operating a number of disparate Web sites, intranets, extranets and the infrastructure and maintenance that goes with them. Scient's solution is to scan across those disparate entities and bring them together on one common technical architecture with consistent content, user experience and brand.