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Lante partners with Sun, others to bolster services

The Net consulting company announces partnerships with Sun Microsystems, WebMethods and Loudcloud in an effort to boost its existing services and target new businesses.

    Net consulting company Lante today announced partnerships with Sun Microsystems, WebMethods and Loudcloud in an effort to boost its existing services and target new businesses.

    Lante said it hopes to provide businesses with a broader set of products and services by folding Sun hardware, WebMethods e-commerce software and Loudcloud Web hosting and other outsourcing services into its existing offerings. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

    Unlike other Internet services firms, such as Scient, Viant, Razorfish, iXL and Proxicom, Lante focuses strictly on developing online marketplaces and trading exchanges for clients that want to conduct business with their partners and suppliers over the Web.

    For example, part of Lante's business involves helping companies tie new online marketplaces, or Web front ends, to back-office systems that already exist.

    Several other business e-commerce consulting firms, such as NerveWire and Gen3 Partners, have recently popped up to capture more lucrative projects. The market for business e-commerce is expected to explode in coming years. Leading research firms have projected the market to reach between $2.7 trillion and $7.3 trillion by 2004, from about $131 billion last year.

    Lante, which already has alliances with Dell Computer and Oracle, said it has agreed to become a Sun "eIntegration Partner." Sun launched the eIntegration program earlier this year to work with companies specializing in creating back-end technologies to support e-commerce.

    In exchange, Lante said it will use the Sun Solaris as its preferred operating system for clients.

    Under its agreement with Loudcloud, Lante will work closely with the start-up during the design and development of mutual clients' marketplace initiatives. Once a site is developed, clients can use Loudcloud's hosting services for Web design and maintenance of the hardware and software used to operate the site.

    The companies said they will jointly tackle marketing efforts and will provide each other with technology and training support.

    Lante has expanded its relationship with WebMethods, with which it first established a partnership last December, to become a member of WebMethods' "rapid integration" team. The program provides consulting services to clients in a hurry to integrate trading partners with their marketplaces using e-commerce software from WebMethods.

    As part of the deal, Lante said it will build a consulting practice of at least 100 consultants to focus on implementing the company's software.