Sun Portals To Offer Yahoo! Content

Sun Microsystems has forged an alliance that will bring Yahoo‘s content to its corporate portals.

The pact between the software maker and the Internet media giant is designed to drive adoption and use of enterprise portals, which allow business users to access corporate e-mail and company information on a single Web site.

For Sun, the alliance represents a chance to increase corporate productivity by creating an enterprise portal that blends access to business-critical applications with personalized information. For Yahoo, it is an opportunity to enhance its corporate business in order to counteract declines in the online advertising market.

Making Portals Relevant

My Yahoo! Enterprise Edition will become available in the third quarter of 2002, according to the companies. Sun customers will receive a free 120-day trial period with personalized, “instant-on” access to Yahoo’s 2,000-plus content sources.

“Personalized content is what makes the portals more relevant and thereby makes the portal a central force for productivity,” said Steven Nathan, vice president and general manager of Sun ONE portal and communication services for Sun Microsystems.

Nathan said the personalization factor is key for chief information officers who want to attract and retain portal users in order to fully realize ROI (return on investment) potential.

Personalization Drives ROI

But what does access to Yahoo! news, stock prices and weather information have to do with ROI? A lot, Forrester analyst Nate Root told the E-Commerce Times.

Although it may seem counterintuitive for Sun to trumpet ROI when discussing personalized content on an enterprise portal, he said, it is a sound strategy.

“We believe that these populist apps — things like weather and stock portfolios — are going to drive traffic and stickiness on companies’ corporate portals,” he said.

“Companies will come to rely on and trust the corporate portal like they trust My Yahoo! now. What that will do is help improve the ROI of the real meat of the portal.”

Borrowing Trust from Yahoo!

Regardless of whether immediate ROI is achievable, Root said the alliance with Yahoo! will benefit Sun. Yahoo! boasts the leading reach into the workplace at 72.9 percent, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Yahoo’s cachet should position Sun to compete more effectively with portal server software players Microsoft, IBM and Oracle.

“Yahoo! is one of the most recognizable and most trusted brands on the Internet,” Root noted. “Sun is trying to borrow some of that consumer trust.”

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