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Inktomi to push corporate networks

The software maker acquires a streaming media company and unveils tools to let companies conduct numerous content tasks across corporate networks.

Inktomi, which makes software to speed the delivery of Internet data, unveiled software tools Tuesday that will let companies conduct numerous content tasks across corporate networks.

The move by Foster City, Calif.-based Inktomi is the latest attempt by the company to go beyond its traditional search and caching software by offering media tools it hopes companies will install in their corporate networks, allowing them to distribute video, audio and business content. Companies using the software will also have the capability to publish, distribute, retrieve and manage content across the networks.

Inktomi also said Tuesday it acquired San Francisco-based eScene Networks as part of the new push. eScene provides streaming media applications and services, which Inktomi will incorporate into its latest enterprise application products.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Inktomi touts several large corporate customers, including Ford Motor and Morgan Stanley, and services providers like Williams Communications.

But analysts say it will be awhile before widespread use of streaming media networks take off in the corporate world. "We are presently seeing just a little bit of demand amongst companies in general," said Galen Schrek, an analyst at Forrester Research. "Companies have been slow to adopt this kind of technology because of broadband complexities and the worry that their networks would not be able to handle it."

Although the market is in its early stages, the move sets up Inktomi against networking giants Cisco and Network Appliance, Schrek said.

The new products build on items that Inktomi already offers, such as its Search Everywhere initiative, which provides companies with single-search access to corporate information while operating with existing enterprise software and systems.

Also, as part of the push, Inktomi said it teamed with eRoom Technology, a provider of digital workplaces, and with Netegrity, an e-business software management company.

The eRoom deal allows users of Inktomi's Search Software to access collaborative information published within workplaces built with eRoom software.

Through the Netegrity alliance, Inktomi's Search Software will be integrated with Netegrity SiteMinder, which lets customers manage and control user identity, authentication and access across protected applications on a network.