Show Spawns Multiple Product Offerings

LOS ANGELES (04/06/2000) - This week's Internet World show here brought a slew of announcements from smaller and industry-specific companies expanding and partnering to gain more market share.

Software developer Blue Martini announced an alliance with Yantra Corp., an e-commerce operations provider. The software alliance, targeted primarily at e-tailers, will deliver packaged integration between Yantra's PureEcommerce and the Blue Martini Customer Interaction System, enabling a more robust back-end e-commerce solution, according to Blue Martini.

"It's allowing us to go deeper into the back end," said Patrick McCue, vice president of alliances at Blue Martini.

Shawn Willett, an analyst at Current Analysis, sees this partnership adding greater depth to Blue Martini's offering.

Yantra's PureEcommerce platform brings real-time order management and tracking, supply-chain management, inventory management, delivery management and integration, fulfillment, and returns solutions to Blue Martini's Customer Interaction System. The Customer Interaction System focuses on building brand equity through merchandising and content management, transaction management, data analysis, and personalization across multiple customer touch points, according to Blue Martini.

Design information company Autodesk Inc. launched its business to business portal, Point A, for the engineering and design industries. In addition to aggregating reference, news, and training resources for engineers, architects and other design disciplines, Point A also enables collaboration between project teams, according to Amar Hanspal, senior director of Autodesk Point A.

According to analyst Willett, the collaboration tools are important to a community of engineers and designers often scattered and dispersed throughout the world.

"In that particular market, collaboration is a big deal," Willett said.

Willett also noted that Autodesk's collaboration functionality compares to other offerings such as Hewlett-Packard's tools for engineering and other CAD (computer-aided design) vendors.

Point A would allow those in the design and engineering industry, who have long struggled with the amount of manuals and reference materials needed, to access all of their industry specific content through one portal, allowing greater productivity, Hanspal said.

The business-to-business portals target four primary themes: content, including industry news; community, with discussion groups and networking functions; collaboration, including hosting projects to enable extended virtual project teams; and customer care, for current Autodesk customers.

CRM (customer relationship management) vendor Evity Inc. also announced that Ubid.com and National Instruments have selected its recently launched software, SiteAngel, to measure the performance of their sites.

SiteAngel simulates the customer experience at the Web site through predefined quality standards, measuring against the company's own performance goals, said Steve Connor, vice president of sales and marketing at Evity. SiteAngel rates critical path performance, problem resolution, and total customer satisfaction, according to Connor.

SiteAngel generates analysis reports in two different fashions: one designed for the IT staff with all the needed technical information and another aimed for executives, Connor said.

According to Connor, the executive reports are easier to interpret and apply toward customer management for executives weary of wading through low metric data.

SiteAngel will also send out e-mail warnings when its software detects problems in the web site performance, Evity said.

At the conference, mylackey.com, which sells household services via the Web, announced expansion into urban markets including the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, and Washington D.C., said "Chief Lackey Officer" Brian McGarvey.

Localized services for errands and chores offered by mylackey.com include everything from doing the laundry to walking the dog. Services will be branded under mylackey.com, and enabled through service provider partnerships throughout the local area.

Although many of the services appeal to individual consumers, one-third of mylackey.com's revenue is generated from other businesses through the company's @work program, according to mylackey.com.

On May 1, mylackey.com will expand into Portland. The company will extend its services to San Francisco, San Jose, and Washington in the third quarter of this year.

"Everyone needs a lackey," McGarvey said.

Blue Martini Software, in San Mateo, California, is at http://www.bluemartini.com/. Yantra Corp, in Acton, Maine, is at http://www.yantra.com/. Evity Inc., in Austin, Texas, is at http://www.evity.com/. Autodesk Inc., in San Rafael, California, is at http://www.autodesk.com/. Based in Seattle, mylackey.com is at http://www.mylackey.com/.

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