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Yahoo! Makes a Strategic Move

Yahoo! Inc.'s Enterprise Solutions division has launched a new strategy services practice, calling it a key new element in the company's efforts to expand business service offerings to clients.

It's also yet another move to diversify the revenue stream at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! , which has been overly dependent on slumping Internet advertising revenues.

Yahoo! last October delivered Yahoo! Mail - Business Edition, a new premium service that allows small businesses to get a professional, branded e-mail address.

The new strategy services department, to be headed by Joseph Cha as vice president, is charged "with developing an enterprise consulting practice to fully evaluate customer communications needs and bundle the most appropriate products and services to meet those needs," Yahoo! said.

The idea is to help companies create and execute strategic plans that include corporate portal, content, and communications solutions in one holistic offering - for a fee, of course.

"As a company that runs the largest portal in the world, Yahoo! can now offer both portal and communication strategy services to our clients and effectively implement solutions that execute on these client strategies," said Jim Fanella, senior vice president for Enterprise Solutions.

Yahoo!'s business service offerings include Yahoo! Portal Solutions (formerly Corporate Yahoo!), Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions and Yahoo! Small Business products and services.

Cha has served in a number of strategic consulting positions including stints at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was a principal running their strategy consulting practice for the Asia Pacific region, and Andersen Consulting where he served in the change management practice.

Separately, Emeryville, Calif.-based Touchpoint Inc., a provider of personalized printed communications, signed a deal with Yahoo! to offer its proprietary custom-printed photo card technology to users of Yahoo! Photos. Visitors there can create photo cards using photos from their Yahoo! Photo album or from their desktop. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.