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BackWeb buys Lanacom

In an effort to bolster its push technology offerings, BackWeb acquires a small software company Lanacom.

    In an effort to bolster its push technology offerings, BackWeb today acquired a small software company, Lanacom.

    BackWeb intends to integrate Lanacom's Headliner push software into its client and server products. And in combing Headliner with BackWeb, the company hopes to offer a more complete software "solution" that is attractive to corporate users, said Eli Barkat, chief executive of BackWeb.

    The deal follows signs of a shakeup among push players. Earlier this year, one push company, IFusion, filed for bankruptcy protection, and another, Intermind, laid off 17 percent of its workforce. The breathing room in the nascent push market is getting thinner as Microsoft and Netscape Communications prepare to launch their push products.

    Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

    Lanacom said more than half of its 24 employees will join BackWeb, including its chief executive and president Tony Davis, who will become BackWeb senior vice president of product development. The remaining positions at Lanacom will be eliminated, Barkat said.

    Barkat said Lanacom tools will fill in a gap in BackWeb's software tools offerings. Using Headliner--which will be sold as a separate tool for the BackWeb Server--companies will be able to build custom information channels and deliver them to a variety of custom clients, such as news tickers or screen savers. Headliner will also let users automatically track email message boxes and newsgroups for keywords, as well as the Web.

    "They major thing we found interesting in Lanacom was that they had the market's best tools," said Barkat. "They let you extract information out of multiple information resources."