RealTime IT News

Mongoose Merges with RealCommunities

Houston-based Portal Lifecycle Management company Mongoose Technology Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to merge with RealCommunities Inc. in a stock-for-stock transaction.

As testimony that communities facilitate business transactions, the two companies first came in contact with each other through an online discussion board, RealCommunities CEO and founder Cynthia Typaldos told ASP News. "We had decided that partnering with a portal would be a smart move, and then we came across a Mongoose posting on a board dealing with community issues," she said.

Mongoose hardly expected a response from that posting, according to Mongoose VP marketing Lionel Hanley. "We were budgeting to build everything ourselves, and posted on the board to see if what would happen," he said. "The merger is living proof that communities work."

From the Mongoose side, adding community technology is a logical step in the company's evolution. "Our strategy is to partner with the best in each domain, and RealCommunities is the best," Hanley said. "Add to that the fact that we're using the same base for our infrastructure – J2EE – and you can see what a good fit it is."

RealCommunities came to the decision after seeing the writing on the wall, so to speak. "We had been targeting the enterprise market, and while they liked our community technology, we kept hearing that to work for them, the software needed to be in the context of a portal," Typaldos said. "After meeting with Mongoose, and seeing that our technologies were so compatible, we thought it would be great to be able to go into a company with a full solution."\

The combination is proving important to Nortel, according to Tim Chandler, director, High Tech & Manufacturing Marketing, eBusiness Solutions at Nortel Networks. "We've been talking with RealCommunities over the past 6 to 8 months, and we're very impressed with where they're going with the portal aspect," Chandler told ASP News. "With the merger come untapped possibilities in the way people will be able to collaborate. To be able to create a community inside a company is important."

With the immediate delivery of the Mongoose RealCommunities solution – including RealCommunities Experience, Producers Workbench, Fundamentals, and Community Development Kit – and industry-acclaimed expertise in community and collaboration, the merger accelerates Mongoose Technology's growth and leadership in providing enterprise portal solutions that increase revenue and reduce costs for Fortune 5000 companies.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in March. Typaldos and her core team will join Mongoose, with Typaldos becoming a full member of the Board of Directors and serving as executive vice president and chief knowledge officer (CKO).

RealCommunities' customers have high volume, strategically important, natural communities with shared interests and needs. They include vertical portals, corporate portals, eLearning portals, eCRM environments and knowledge exchanges. The RealCommunities Cupertino, Calif. facility will remain as the West Coast development lab and sales office for Mongoose Technology and will be augmented with additional sales and engineering staff.

The merger brings together the strengths of both companies to address the needs of enterprises. According to Delphi Group Chief Analyst Nathaniel Palmer, "Among trends in enterprise computing, two of the Top 5 that Delphi Group has identified to most greatly impact business strategy are Enterprise Portals and Community Computing. The merger of RealCommunities with Mongoose Technology brings together what will be a unique combination of infrastructure and application services for building Web communities and peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges inside of enterprise portals."

Mongoose sees online collaboration in a different light than some of its competitors, according to Erick Rivas, Mongoose Technology president and CEO. "Most portal vendors address online collaboration as merely a set of disparate applications, such as threaded discussions, e-mail, chat, document-sharing, etc., and completely ignore the underlying core concepts that help establish effective Web communities, including identity, trust, reputation, reward, purpose, etc.," Rivas said. " In order to enable rich, thriving Web communities, support for these 'concepts' is essential as part of the overall community architecture of a portal, and must be made available as API-level services to every application in the portal."

Given the common component-based architecture of both Mongoose's and RealCommunities' products 100-percent Java and XML based, and running on J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application servers such as BEA WebLogic both companies' development organizations will realize immediate benefits of reuse and integrated staff resources.

The capabilities of Mongoose RealCommunities applications will be easy to incorporate into enterprise portals since they will be provided as a library of collaborating WebComponents that can be assembled with the Mongoose PortalStudio visual portal authoring environment.

Server-side functionality provided by Mongoose RealCommunities Fundamentals will be incorporated into the services provided by the Mongoose PortalStudio Server framework. Just as Mongoose PortalStudio Server now provides system-to-system integration services and person-to-system portal services, Mongoose RealCommunities Fundamentals will add a core set of person-to-person community services to PortalStudio Server. Altogether this will now enable companies to easily design, assemble, deploy and manage community and collaboration applications throughout the enterprise portal.