Atomz unites search with content management

Seeking to combat the skyrocketing costs associated with server-based software for Web site management, Atomz Corp. last week rolled out an online service that combines site search with Web CM (content management).

Atomz Promote, which marries the company's existing Atomz Search and Atomz Publish offerings, is designed to let enterprises integrate corporate content into search results through a single online application, according to Atomz officials.

There is a natural synergy between CM and search, partly because search runs against the content repository, according to Lou Latham, research analyst at Gartner, in Stamford, Conn. This synergy also is evident in the trend of CM capabilities being stitched tightly to portals and application servers, he said.

"[CM] is the back-end for any number of processes including syndication, search, and things like personalized presentation of Web pages," Latham said.

San Bruno, Calif.-based Atomz joins Salesforce.com, McAfee.com, and others in its Web native approach to software delivery.

All of Atomz's enterprise Web site management software offerings are delivered completely as a service, according to Steve Kusmer, president, CEO, and co-founder.

"Outsourcing makes sense," he said. The Web native approach allows corporations to reap the benefits of search and CM "without the time, expense, and cost associated with server-based software packages," Kusmer said.

In addition, the Web native method can yield lower TCO than search and CM software systems because it removes licensing costs and secondary costs such as bandwidth, servers, and collocation facilities, according to Seth Brenzel, director of marketing at Atomz.

According to a recent report issued by New York-based Jupiter Media Metrix, enterprises are overpaying for CM technology. The research indicated that overly optimistic predictions for Web-based business initiatives have led some organizations to shell out US$25,000 per non-technical employee per year to manage simple Web site content. In many cases, Jupiter reported, customization, integration, and deployment costs can rise as high as six times the basic licensing fees.

Although the Web-native delivery approach has not really caught on for CM or search, the mile-high prices associated with CM may spur more interest, according to Gartner's Latham.

"CM is typically a quarter to a half-million-dollar proposition for a large enterprise. A lot of people are getting tired of the management hassles and ongoing [maintenance] issues. The nice thing about an ASP is they run it. Plus the cost structure is much more predictable," Latham said.

CM as an online service also takes a burden off the IT department, Atomz officials said. Because the hosted service removes the need for programming expertise to manage content, Atomz Promote allows business managers to regain control content.

Specifically, Promote allows companies to review and analyze search requests and add relevant content to search results. For example, a retail shop could advertise promotional items within the search results page and link visitors to areas where they can purchase products or receive more information. Similarly, media companies can use Promote to highlight related editorial content to terms repeatedly searched on the site.

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