Netegrity gets down under to B2B nitty-gritty

Boston-based portal management solution provider Netegrity launched its Australian arm yesterday, with a vision to push all e-businesses to build portals.

"We supply the picks and shovels to the (dot-com) miners," Chris Vickers, Netegrity's country manager, Australia and New Zealand said.

Netegrity's flagship product, the SiteMinder e-commerce platform for secure portal management, is expected to drive initial sales in Australia. Other products are available in the US, executives said.

Designed for medium-to-large enterprise, the tool manages web-user authentication and transaction processes. Contrary to popular belief, it is "not a web security tool", stressed Duncan Fisken, Netegrity Australia's managing director.

Compatible with Oracle, Novell and Microsoft systems and databases, the tool ensures the user's access rights correspond with their rank in a company; that is, "what an individual is allowed to do", Fisken said.

For instance, a secretary would have limited rights to corporate information compared to a financial controller, he explained.

"We personalise the user experience," Fisken said. SiteMinder-powered sites authenticate users by establishing company name, job title and function. According to Fisken, Netegrity eventually plans to add the capability to drill down and obtain a user's social security number and even shoe size.

"If you can personalise the site, customers will keep coming back," he said.

Netegrity technology also has cross-domain sign-on capabilities. An American Express site could automatically grant user access to a travel site in a single sign-on.

According to Fisken, the company plans to strongly target the e-business extranet market, in particular medium-to-large organisations.

In fact, a major local telco is rumoured to be piloting a Netegrity solution for its extranet. The telco is expected to negotiate a deal with Netegrity in the next five weeks, whereby mobile phone purchases will activate customer sign-ups to a free Netegrity solution, the executives said.

Sitting on $100 million capital, Netegrity has a global revenue target of $30 million in the next 12 months. The US parent's earnings grew by 400 per cent from 1998 to 1999.

Entry-level solutions range from $US50,000 to $US60,000 for medium-to-large organisations. An average business client has 25,000 PCs, implementing the solution on an intranet, extranet or business portal, the company said.

Local Netegrity resellers include TIBCO and the Sun-Netscape alliance iPlanet. Its Australian training partners are PricewaterhouseCoopers and Computer Associates.

Global enterprise customers include Ingram Micro, Telecom New Zealand, Merrill Lynch and General Electric.

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