My Yahoo Enterprise Edition Gets Facelift

Yahoo’s transformation from an ad-dependent Web portal to a full-fledged B2B
services firm took another step forward Wednesday with the rollout of a
revamped My Yahoo Enterprise Edition 5.0 targeting corporate customers.

The new-look My Yahoo Enterprise Edition (see demo), which is
scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter this year, is the first major
facelift for the popular
consumer-focused portal, which can be personalized to pipe third-party
content feeds to a single Web page.

“This is the first major overhaul of the My Yahoo consumer product. With
this upgrade, corporate customers have access to content from about 2,000
publications. We’re adding hundreds of additional business resources and
content feeds and providing a much deeper database of business information,”
said David Gee, vice president and general manager of Yahoo’s Portal
Solutions division.

Gee told the My Yahoo Enterprise Edition 5.0 upgrade
would let corporate customers manipulate the content feeds by keywords, a
feature that is sure to be a hit with IT managers. “You can customize
modules to deliver a slew of things and because the data source
is significantly broader and not available to the consumer offering, we
think we have something that will be useful to a wide array of enterprise
customers,” he added.

Yahoo is planning a huge marketing splash to hype the
upgrade. An ad campaign, targeting knowledge workers and chief information
officers goes live on August 19 and includes print placements in The Wall
Street Journal and PC World, and through targeted online
impressions across the Yahoo network and The Wall Street Journal Online.

Yahoo, which competes directly with content aggregators ScreamingMedia
and Yellowbrix in the space, has already found
among portal software vendors like BEA, SAP, Sun Microsystems,
and TIBCO Software.

And, with portal-server software becoming a strong seller in the burgeoning
market for e-business software, Gee said Yahoo’s Portal Solutions business
can make some serious noise in the coming months. Specifically, the My
Yahoo Enterprise Edition is used by companies with large workforces to give
employees, customers and partners access to news, stock prices and weather
information. Yahoo can tie Microsoft Outlook clients into the Web-based
interface, a key feature that can help enterprises with workforce management

Gee said pricing for the revamped service is two-tiered, depending on
whether it would be used inside the firewall as a pure intranet product or
whether software vendors are offering it to licensees or franchises. As an
intranet product, pricing is fixed on a per-feed basis and for
extranets, where there is no knowledge of how many people are accessing the
feed, Yahoo is charging a per-cpu fee.

For a 10,000-employee corporate customer using the My Yahoo portal on an
intranet, Gee estimates the service would cost between $5 to $10 per user

A key component in the upgrade, Gee explained, was the addition of newer
content-manipulation tools to IT managers. For instance, a newstracker
module can be set up to pipe content based on keywords, instead of the
existing personalization on the free portal which separates
content feeds by news sources. “Say your interest is aircraft, you can
create a newstracker by keyword ‘aircraft’. That is a neat addition that’s
really hard to do,” Gee said.

Yahoo has also exposed APIs to let internal applications call
modules that are specific to a company. The internal modules can be married
with a slew of external information from eh public My Yahoo consumer portal
to create an all-encompassing Web destination for enterprise customers and
their clients.

To help corporate customers personalize the service to their business needs,
Gee said Yahoo’s premium add-on packages for the product upgrade would

  • Business Research Package — which adds hundreds of premium business
    content sources and specialized modules for tracking company and industry
    news, profiles and performance by keyword, stock symbol, and industry
  • Industry Packages — each package adds hundreds of premium business
    content sources for a targeted vertical industry. Packages will be available
    for banking, finance, government, education, health care, pharmaceuticals,
    high-tech, computers and telecommunications.
  • “In addition, portal administrators can use it to embed ‘content in-context’
    in their portals and portal-based business applications. The end result will
    be content modules that dynamically
    refresh based on changes to surrounding modules and applications,” he added.

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