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Partners to push in enterprise

Aiming to push the right information to the right intranet users, DataChannel and Tibco announce pacts designed to fit Webcasting into the enterprise.

Aiming to push the right information to the right intranet user at the right time, DataChannel and Tibco have announced technology and marketing pacts designed to fit Webcasting into the enterprise without giving MIS departments headaches.

The two companies' similar technologies complement each other to deliver targeted information to specific individuals based on their department or work function within an enterprise.

Tibco's products work at the network level to handle the routing and filtering of message packets. DataChannel's Java-based products, which generate Web pages from a database, work at the application level to control the flow of content and presentation style to Web browsers.

DataChannel's Channel Manager software, now in beta and due to ship next month, creates intranet "channels" to push relevant information--internal documents, news on competitors, or companywide information--to particular individuals. Its goal is to let corporate network managers to control how data is pushed through their networks and to which users.

Tibco, a unit of publishing giant Reuters, has "publish and subscribe" middleware that enables easy and immediate targeting of information to specific users.

DataChannel aims to capitalize on intranet strategies of both Microsoft and Netscape, both of which are using Web browsers as the means for users to view data on their desktops.

The Tibco-DataChannel partnership may be a prelude to bigger things. Tibco disclosed today that it is continuing talks with Microsoft, while DataChannel has been in discussions with Netscape, although neither company will discuss the nature of the talks.

DataChannel has dubbed its software "browser management," while Tibco's Srini Vasan, vice president of Internet business development, today said that "with DataChannel, our enterprise middleware becomes available down to the desktop."

David Pool, DataChannel's founder and CEO who sold his Spry Internet-In-A-Box software to CompuServe a couple of years ago, added: "Tibco's technology makes push real time. When you want to change something in the enterprise, polling every 15 minutes isn't enough."

Pool said Microsoft's and Netscape's strategies initially focus on display on desktops, while DataChannel's software is designed to manage intranets from a central location.

Users can view intranet channels in a "PointCast-style" format, MSNBC-style, or in any other viewing style the user prefers.

Pool said intranet pricing for DataChannel products will be $30 to $75 per desktop client, about $5,000 per server for the module that manages desktops centrally, and $5,000 per server for software that generates Web pages on the fly using Java.