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Open Text buys portal-software maker

The specialist in content-management software buys Corechange, a maker of software for running corporate portals, in a step toward better application integration.

Software maker Open Text, a specialist in knowledge-management software that integrates corporate data and applications, announced Wednesday that it has acquired portal-software maker Corechange.

Open Text will pay $4.2 million in cash for privately held Corechange, a Boston-based company whose main product, Coreport, allows companies to set up corporate portals that provide centralized access to applications and information.

Integrating Coreport with Open Text's Livelink product for collaboration and knowledge management will allow Livelink to work with a greater range of back-end software, said Bill Forquer, senior vice president of business development for Open Text.

"Top of line for buyers right now is application integration," he said. "They're interested in leveraging their existing systems rather than flushing and starting new."

The integration also gives Open Text a more attractive front-end system to access information cataloged and managed by Livelink, addressing a growing demand for makers of content-management software to focus on presentation. Open Text competitor Documentum earlier this week announced its first products to integrate collaboration software it acquired from eRoom.

Demands for software for portals, collaboration and knowledge management are blending, Forquer said, and software makers need to be able to address the whole package.

"That's the thing that really has been a sea change for Corechange," he said. "The notion of a discrete market for portal software has just evaporated. The need is still there, but buyers are looking for their major application providers to provide it in a very integrated way."

Open Text began working with Corechange as a partner last year, Forquer said, and has already gone through the first phases of integrating the companies' products. Open text will continue to sell and service standalone versions of Coreport, along with packages that integrate the software with Livelink.