HERZLIYA, Israel – “The Internet is a pool of disorganized data,” says Dror Zelber, product manager for Ankura, an information management company based here. “How do you save just the precise data that you need?”
Ankura’s answer, it’s MixM application, has been recently released as a browser add-on for Microsoft Internet Explorer. In its incarnation as a web-surfing enhancement, MixM creates a dynamic virtual workspace that may be updated, shared and refreshed on the desktop.
One of its special features is that the same services can be loaded into a Web-enabled PDA.
Web browsers offer a simple method of organizing pages through bookmarking. However, because many webpages are either very large or encompass many topics, often the information the user would like to refer back to becomes lost or forgotten, Zelber says.
MixM solves the problem by creating a password-protected clipboard workspace for information snippets. Just highlight the item you’re interested in saving, and drag and drop it into your workspace. The clip is instantly archived and referenced with information, such as the page it was taken from, and when it was taken.
You can email the snippet to a friend, even if the friend does not have MixM installed. The snippet can be updated with the latest information from the host site. Also, as the workspaces are saved on Ankura’s servers and not the user’s computer, the information is available from anywhere on the Internet.
“The possibilities are endless,” Zelber says.
Last month, the program was updated with a feature to allow wireless access to workspaces. Wireless PDA’s can be used to view and manipulate workspaces in the exactly the same way desktops and laptops do.
Ankura’s competitors offer various approaches to their Internet information management services, Zelber says. Either they are online storage and bookmarking services, like Xdrive, i-drive and Backflip, or they are content aggregators, such as OnePage, which lack the versatility and precision of MixM, he says.
“OnePage lets you cut certain structures from a web page. They let you collect tables, for instance,” Zelber says. “But we can take half a table.”
The MixM platform can be customized for business and educational intranet purposes, and Ankura foresees selling its product for use in those applications. As a browser enhancement, the product’s technology is also of interest to browser designers themselves.
Ankura has customized MixM for websites that have franchised MixM for their web visitors’ use. Among sites that have used MixM are Moving.com, FortuneCity and israel.internet.com’s parent company, internet.com, which is a commerce partner with Ankura.com.
Ankura was launched in November 1999 with backing from the now-troubled Israeli high tech investment company Yazam. Ankura has raised $2.2 million to date.