BroadVision bets on portals
- By John K. Waters
[MAY 21, 2002] - BroadVision, Inc.'s launch last week of the latest version of its namesake business portal application marked more than a mere product release, according to president and CEO Pehong Chen. "We almost feel like we're launching a new company," Chen said. "This is not about technology. This is about an organizational transition."
Chen believes that personalized enterprise portals are becoming the "platform that powers business transformation." The new version of his company's flagship product, BroadVision 7.0, integrates personalization, content management and commerce capabilities into a single portal offering. The product architecture is now focused primarily on the portal, which has been enhanced with features aimed at easing deployment, reducing the cost of entry and enabling more dynamic communications between members of teams within and between companies. BroadVision 7.0 is Java2EE-based, and runs on the company's own legacy app server, as well as app servers from other vendors, such as BEA and IBM.
"We are known as the personalization company," Chen said. "But we have achieved a nice balance as a portal company." And the new product "dispels any lingering concerns about BroadVision's commitment to independent standards," he said. "We are now future-proof."
Critical functions in the Commerce platform, such as the sales engine and order management, have been rewritten, according to Bill Zujewski, BroadVision's vice president of product marketing. A single interface/console called the Commerce Center allows users to manage the Commerce platform, configuring marketing and campaign management functions, create pricing incentives and so on.
"Today more and more organizations view enterprise portals as a resource for fluid collaboration, rather than simply a single, central online destination," said Nathaniel Palmer, vice president and chief analyst of Delphi Group. With this release, BroadVision enables quick deployment of multiple, personalized workspaces, without the overhead often associated with this type of collaborative environment, Palmer said.
BroadVision 7.0 will be available at the end of June, Chen said. Under the new CPU-based pricing, customers will pay starting costs of $60,000 per CPU for BroadVision One-To-One Portal and BroadVision One-To-One Commerce, and $40,000 for One-To-One Content. The company is also offering a "departmental bundle" promotional price of $99,000, which includes the portal to run on two CPUs, several toolkits and two connectors to back-end applications. The promotional pricing is good until June 30.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached