Business Briefs

SAN MATEO (06/23/2000) - Nextlink Communications Inc. this week sewed up its US$2.54 billion acquisition of Concentric Network Corp., a supplier of broadband access and Internet services. The combined company initially will target small to midsize business customers, offering an array of IP-based services, according to the companies.

But officials added that the two companies have scrambled during the last few months to become more competitive with IP-centric players going after business from Fortune 1000 enterprises.

Nextlink, in McLean, Virginia, and Concentric, in San Jose, California, this spring rolled out several DSL and voice offerings together.

BANKRUPTCY: Inacom files with court for Chapter 11 protectionTHE VULTURES CIRCLED this week after technology services and products provider Inacom Corp. announced it had filed for bankruptcy and will cease operations.

Atlanta-based Inacom filed for court protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S.

Bankruptcy Code, listing assets of $956.5 million and debts of $560.7 million.

Diving for their prey, GE Capital IT Solutions this week offered services to Inacom customers and employees, and MicroAge officials said the company would offer Rapid Transition Services to Inacom customers. AlphaNet Solutions, DecisionOne, and Entex IT Service also announced offerings to displaced Inacom customers and employees.

In January of this year, Compaq bought Inacom's custom configuration and order management businesses for $370 million and created a subsidiary it called Custom Edge.

Compaq and Custom Edge filed an objection in the Inacom bankruptcy proceedings, disclosing that Inacom and its lenders have received more than $94 million in funds from Custom Edge and requesting that these funds be returned, according to Compaq.

ACQUISITION: AlphaBlox acquires Halfbrain.comALPHABLOX this week announced that it has acquired Halfbrain.com and is integrating that company's BrainMatter spreadsheet into its business intelligence platform.

The AlphaBlox platform technology, called AlphaBlox Analysis Suite, helps users build Web-based business intelligence/analytical applications for customers, business partners, and suppliers, company officials said.

Integrating BrainMatter into Mountain View, California-based AlphaBlox's offerings will extend what-if analyses across the Web, officials said.

BrainMatter is similar in usage to Microsoft Excel but is HTML-based. AlphaBlox in two months plans to offer a hybrid product based on the integration of BrainMatter.

The analytical applications created via AlphaBlox tools for business intelligence, logic, and rules run the gamut from financial reports and budgets to manufacturing processes, human resources, and CRM (customer relationship management) analytics. San Francisco-based Halfbrain.com also sells more than 300 calculators, forms, and other information applications that can be embedded and are intended to provide users with personalization capabilities.

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