Universal Music Picks Hyperwave to Power its Portal

Universal Music International, part of Vivendi’s group that will lend its
considerable weight to the pending Duet subscription service, will announce
Monday that it has tabbed Hyperwave Information Management’s software to
power its large corporate portal.

Financial terms of the deal were not made public. Universal will use
Hyperwave’s software to treat thousands of employees to news and other
information on the company’s single, shared network. The new intranet is
being led by the head office of UMI, based in the U.K., which has installed
the Hyperwave Information server and will roll out the Hyperwave Information
Portal later this year.

As with all knowledge management solutions, the portal is geared to rapidly
publish and share information among employees, allowing them to eyeball and
use data instantly to speed up business processes. The system will let UMI
provide a portal to other Web applications and intranet sites that have been
developed within UMI, making the site a gateway to a variety of
information. Web designers will create a customized user interface by
designing specialized templates for information such as calendars and
discussion forums.

Lisa Bond, vice president of communications at UMI, said that at first
rollout 50 people at UMI will be contributing to the intranet content at
first rollout, with “vast potential for users with write-privileges as the
system develops.”

The deal is not a first between the two companies, as Universal had already
used Hyperwave’s knowledge management software in its Hamburg, Germany
offices. In fact, UMI had previously tried to forge a group-wide intranet,
but needed Hyperwave’s server to do the job.

“The Hyperwave product has broken barriers and has gained the confidence of
our staff by providing a secure and reliable means to share resources which
is really easy to use,” Bond said.

“Knowledge sharing” and “collaboration” have been big buzzwords lately
around the industry, especially after Microsoft Corp. lit up the media with
its Office XP debut Thursday. But those words mean little without corporate
portals to back them and May was a huge month in that arena. Software makers
Vignette Corp. and BroadVision Inc. launched the Enterprise Application
Portal and BroadVision InfoExchange Portal, respectively. IntraNet Solutions
joined the Sybase e-Portal Alliance in order to provide a solution that
combines content management and access through a portal interface.

Robert Perry, Internet computing strategies analyst with the Yankee Group,
said these announcements show the convergence of software solutions for the
closely-related areas of content management, application components such as
personalization, and corporate portals. While this integration is positive,
Perry said some conditions must be met for portal providers to score big.

“…Integrating data from enterprise applications to drive decisions is the
more compelling need and greater challenge for portal systems,” Perry wrote
in a research note. “Most portal solutions simply organize content from a
single source into a specified screen area. However, to be successful in the
future, portal providers must combine corporate content and knowledge,
external information sources, business transactions, and enterprise
applications data to provide a uniquely valuable view on corporate
performance and business relationships.”

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