April 12, 1999 1:25 PM PDT

Start-up aims for corporate portal niche

Netmosphere is keeping an eye on business.

The start-up is joining a growing group of software makers looking to cash in on the burgeoning market for portals for the corporate market. Today it launched software that organizes, tracks, and displays business project information.

Beginning at a starting price of $2,495 for five users per server, Project Home Page 2.0 is a software package for coordinating and tracking business projects, people, and resources in real-time. Sitting on top of the Netmosphere Collaboration Server, the Java-based product collects, organizes, and displays project information through a Web browser.

"Project Home Page provides secure access to project information, based on a person's role in the project," said Barbara Tallent, vice president of marketing at Netmosphere. "CEOs see one cut of information. Managers see another."

Project Home Page 2.0 is Java server-based enterprise software that works with a company's existing intranet infrastructure. Project Home Page-based project portals, or Web sites, can be accessed using a standard Web browser, allowing both internal company members and external users to easily access relevant information.

Project Home Page works in conjunction with the Netmosphere Collaboration Server, a Web-based application server which provides real-time information delivery, and a company's own Web server, which provides secure login access control.

Project Home Page 2.0 works with project related information in real-time by using application server software with push/pull technology, which enables the product to extract information from other applications, including Netmosphere's project and resource management software ActionPlan and Microsoft Project.

Tallent believes corporations should think of Project Home Page as a real-time portal for project related information. The product brings everything project-related, from timelines and to-do lists, to documents, budgets, and personnel, in a single client.

Not only does Project Home Page deliver a single source for project updates, it also provides users with personalized information, tailored to their own requirements and preferences.

Executives can see the high-level view of the project, such as which projects are on schedule or not; while managers can view complete project details, including all project files and the resources they can earmark in order to keep their projects on track; and team members can see their own projects and inter-related projects, and they have access to project data, which help them track tasks, work independently, and prioritize their efforts.

In the "team view", members can post all relevant project information, including associated documents such as budgets and specifications, for immediate access by other team members.

In addition to being a corporate portal, Project Front Page also comes under the wider spectrum of knowledge management. Knowledge management has become a buzz-phrase in the collaborative software industry, which during the past two years has been heavily touted as a new strategy by groupware giant and IBM subsidiary Lotus.

Knowledge management software vendors build products to provide a system for corporations to transform information from various sources--the Web, back-office applications, databases--into client applications for making business decisions.

 

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