RealTime IT News

perksatwork.com Morphs to Portal Player

Ditching its campy, cute moniker, the company formerly known as perksatwork.com changed its name to Abilizer this week to stake its claim to the corporate portal market.

With the market for enterprise portals booming, the company made a few additions to its corporate portal services. For one, the firm upgraded its Abilizer Employee Portal.

As part of this, Abilizer announced partnerships with content and commerce providers to deliver news, information, expert-advice, products, services and employee community for the Abilizer Employee Portal's channels. The channels focus on daily essentials, family, shopping, home and garden, and personal finance, with additional channels in development.

Partners include iVillage.com, Accuweather.com and Mobshop.com.

The new channels will boost the tools first introduced in the previous version of the employee portal, which was licensed by the likes of Sun Microsystems Inc. and Oracle Corp.

Krishnan Sastry, vice president of product development played a key role in the changes. Sastry told internet.com this week that Abilizer was not changing its business model at all -- just expanding on it.

"The base business model remains the same," Sastry said. "We've expanded the value proposition and I think by changing the name to Abilizer we make the statement that we are a business that builds and develops. It's a more serious name."

Abilizer also made a serious push into the European enterprise portal sector with its acquisition of IntraExtra, a London-based provider of products, services and solutions to employees in the United Kingdom, which is very similar to Abilizer. Abilizer plans to deliver its new Abilizer Employee Portal starting in the fourth quarter in the European Union, with an initial release in the UK.

Sastry said the purchase, for which financial terms were not disclosed, made sense in light of Abilizer's global push.

"We will be able to draw from their pool of existing relationships," Sastry said. "IntraExtra has a tremendous foothold in the enterprise market in the European Union."

The EU employee portal market is growing rapidly. According to Forrester Research, intranet access for EU workers is growing at 40 percent annually, and the EU's 12.7 million on-line users at work outnumber their counterparts with home access by a ratio of nearly 2-to-1. In three years, European workers with Internet access at work is expected to nearly triple to 33.6 million.

Use of the Abilizer brand is effective immediately. The company will continue to use the perksatwork name to describe its marketplace and local merchant programs.

Yahoo! Inc., too, made a significant play in the portal market this week. With its Corporate Yahoo! strike, the giant will offer their employees content and services from the portal giant on in-house networks.