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Corechange Helps Energy Firm Craft an Enterprise Portal

Boston's Corechange Inc., which develops software for portals, said Wednesday that it has secured energy titan American Electric Power as a customer for its access framework product.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

AEP will use it to build an enterprise portal. According to the firms' calculations, 80 percent of all information will be within two mouse clicks of the front page, enabling all AEP employees to easily call up information once Corechange's Coreport 3g solution is in place. The new intranet, bound to serve 22,000 employees, will facilitate improved communication and increase productivity in the work environment to shore up customer service.

Coreport enables companies to deploy wired or wireless corporate and mobile commerce portals, which are tailored to each user based on the individual's role within the enterprise. Corechange's solution will allow AEP to provide a personalized Web environment for its users, establish one sign-on for all authorized applications, and permit remote access from any Internet-connected device, including personal digital assistants (PDA), which with each passing day are being used more and more to tap into corporate networks by mobile users.

AEP began working with Corechange in March 2001 and Coreport is actually AEP's first investment in portal software. AEP said it would roll out the Coreport-powered intranet in waves, with select business units using the portal throughout the summer. Based on the users' experience, Corechange will work with AEP to make the solution work better, and will subsequently launch the finished product in October. AEP said it will also consider extending the solution to tackle business-to-business initiatives, such as improving information exchange between AEP and outside governmental and environmental stakeholders.

"AEP is leading the energy sector through its investment in portal software," said Ulf Arnetz, chairman and chief executive officer of Corechange. "By providing every corporate employee access to all the applications and information they need through Coreport's comprehensive Web-enabled framework, AEP will improve collaboration within the company and transform the way they conduct business."

Based in Columbus, Ohio, AEP is just the latest example of a large organization investing in IT to make its internal processes run more efficiently. Last year, the Navy tapped EDS for a major, multi-billion dollar intranet implementation.

AEP owns and operates more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity, making it America's largest generator of electricity. AEP also provides retail electricity to more than 7 million customers worldwide and has holdings in the U.S. and select international markets.

Corechange's strategic partners include Microsoft Corp., Nortel Networks, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, and Aether Systems Inc.