Yahoo! expands enterprise portal content

Yahoo! plans to introduce Version 5.0 of its My Yahoo! Enterprise Edition portal content services featuring new business content...

Yahoo! plans to introduce Version 5.0 of its My Yahoo! Enterprise Edition portal content services featuring new business content packages and the ability to link Yahoo! APIs with back-end applications.

The updated content offerings in Version 5.0 are designed to shorten the time enterprise knowledge workers spend gathering information needed to make business decisions, according to David Gee, vice-president of portal solutions at Yahoo!

"We are adding about 50% more data sources to the content and all those data sources are highly business centric," Gee said.

Specifically, the Business Research Package adds hundreds of business content sources, including enterprise-focused publications and journals and specialised modules for tracking industry news and stock information. The Industry Packages bring content sources targeted at specific vertical industries including banking, finance, government, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

In addition to more content My Yahoo! Enterprise Edition 5.0 will also expose APIs so enterprises can create dynamic feeds to back-end applications such as CRM or ERP. The published APIs will allow applications to call My Yahoo! modules and populate the portal page with content related to a specific subject or company.

For example, a sales executive looking up prospects in a CRM application could automatically receive news, industry data, or a company profile, according to Yahoo! officials.

"You are marrying all the internal content you have with respect to a subject with lots of external data sources giving you up-to-the-minute info about that specific subject, whether it is financial information, news, activities, or market share numbers," Gee said. "That is a powerful concept of content in context. That is a killer app."

Yahoo! said it plans to work with application providers such as Seibel Systems, Microsoft, and Oracle to develop the API connection. The integration needed within individual enterprises is very lightweight, Gee said.

Yahoo! entered the enterprise portal space about two years ago, selling a software and content package using Tibco Software portal infrastructure. Since then, the company has shifted its strategy away from software toward a focus on business-specific content and personalisation within the portal, according to Gee.

"When we entered the [enterprise] business two years ago it was all about portal software and a little bit about content," Gee said. "Two years later, portal software players are established and increasingly customers already have portal software [in place]."

Yahoo! has since shifted focus to its core competencies, which are content aggregation, personalisation, and taxonomies, and de-coupled those from any specific portal platform, Gee said.

"If a customer wants an end-to-end solution from us today, we can sell them one based on Tibco Software," he said. "[But] our plan is to move up the stack and deliver content, taxonomy, and additional services that authenticate against multiple portals. We are moving away from being a portal software supplier."

Portal infrastructure vendors that support My Yahoo! Enterprise Edition include Tibco, SAP, Sun Microsystems and BEA.

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