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Commentary: Divine gains from Yahoo deal

Yahoo's new paid-search brings wider public attention to Divine, a company that has built a portfolio of technologies to support the extended enterprise.

By Simon Hayward and Mark Gilbert, Gartner analysts

Yahoo's new paid-search brings wider public attention to Divine, a company that has built a portfolio of technologies to support the extended enterprise and has embarked on an ambitious quest to provide collaboration and content management across the enterprise market.

To support collaboration and content management, both within and between enterprises, Divine has pursued a strategy of acquisitions--of which Northern Light is only the latest--for building an extensive platform. It will benefit most from the content aggregation capabilities that Northern Light will bring.

See news story:
Yahoo puts a price on searches
Northern Light will help Divine to round out its set of technologies and to emerge as an example of a software company that offers a mix of collaboration, content and document management, along with knowledge management technologies.

With all of Divine's acquisitions, the company now faces the challenge of melding its portfolio of acquired products into a genuinely integrated solution for businesses. (Yahoo has tapped only one part of Divine's portfolio.) It has made some progress but remains a long way from its goal, and the acquisition of Northern Light further increases the challenge. Divine also needs to increase the profile of its brand, and the deal with Yahoo, one of the Internet's most widely known companies, will help.

The Northern Light deal makes sense for Northern Light as well. Like Yahoo, it wanted to move from offering free services to consumers on its Web site to selling services to businesses. Northern Light had already announced it was dropping its public search site to focus on the enterprise.

By itself, however, it would have been challenged to address the enterprise market. AltaVista has found the task difficult despite a more powerful Internet brand.

(For a related commentary on Yahoo's efforts to develop revenue streams beyond Internet advertising, see

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