It is probably no coincidence that during the month leading up to its 1-year anniversary Factiva (http://www.factiva.com) announced two strategic moves. The first, late last month, was its announcement to work with Qpass (http://www.qpass.com) to "provide business consumers on the World Wide Web with one-click access to the Web's widest and deepest archive of news and industry publications—the Dow Jones Interactive Publications Library." The second move, announced May 15, was the introduction of Factiva Modules to integrate its news and information into enterprise information portals (EIPs). Factiva's initial strategic partnership in this regard is with Oracle (http://www.oracle.com).
The Qpass Connection
Factiva follows a host of other content providers selling their wares through Qpass. The New York Times on the Web, Forbes.com, The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, and others use Qpass' digital commerce infrastructure to sell news, information and research products, images, music, video, and services. The Qpass Digital Commerce Service provides Factiva with an effective "end-to-end commerce infrastructure for transaction processing, customer registration, and customer-care functions to support article purchases from the Publications Library" as well as the ability to "price, package, distribute, and promote digital commerce sales through Factiva's network of affiliate sites," according to the company announcement.
Factiva Modules and the Oracle Partnership
Qpass opens the door to new markets for Factiva, but the Factiva Modules and the company's first enterprise information portal partnership with Oracle take Factiva directly to the desktops of these markets. Oracle's Portal Partner Initiative is, according to the company, a new program designed to create a community of content providers, system integrators, and independent software vendors dedicated to creating EIPs. Factiva is named as a "flagship member" and will be the exclusive provider of news and business information through modules, or "portlets."
Portlets, described as "re-usable Web-based components," are a key part of Oracle's Enterprise Portal framework and can be rapidly assembled into enterprise portals. The Factiva Modules include content from the full range of Dow Jones and Reuters news wires and publications. Within this EIP framework companies will be able to subscribe to all or some of Newsstand, Search, Company Search, and Target.
Other firms joining Oracle's Portal Partner Initiative include Ernst & Young (http://www.ey.com), Autonomy (http://www.autonomy.com), EDS (http://www.eds.com), InfoSpace (http://www.infospace.com), iSyndicate (http://www.isyndicate.com), Net Perceptions (http://www.netperceptions.com), SiteScape (http://www.sitescape.com), Verity (http://www.verity.com), and WebEx (http://www.webex.com). Clients can contract with all or some of these partners for syndicated content, value-added applications, and integration services for enterprise portals built on the Oracle Enterprise Portal framework. In an interview, Factiva president and CEO Clare Hart explained that Factiva will negotiate separate subscription agreements to maintain its client relationships. The company hopes to announce the names of the Portal Partnership's initial clients soon.
Hart also emphasized Factiva's continued focus on its strategy of content integration and of offering information professionals the flexibility and options needed to integrate content offerings into companies' existing computing environments. Factiva plans to continue to be a part of firms' extranet strategies, and to pursue the licensing of additional third-party content.
When asked how these modules fit within Factiva's portfolio of products and services, Hart explained that they enhance the portfolio by adding another option that allows companies to personalize the presentation of content on their desktops. More options are to be announced throughout the summer months.
These options will include additional strategic partnerships with technology and Web players to create new avenues for content integration into enterprise information infrastructures, as well as the next generation of Dow Jones Interactive, Reuters Business Briefing, the Intranet toolkit Server Software, and other selected products. A Factiva-branded product is due to be launched in July.
It's been a progressive first year for Factiva, and the company shows no signs of slowing. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for companies to obtain and deploy simply and seamlessly whatever content they need and however they need it. It is not surprising that Factiva's first EIP partner is Oracle, whose goal seems to be to make it as easy as possible for companies to implement working, effective portals. The same day the Portal Partnership was announced, Oracle also announced its Fast Forward Enterprise Portal solution, designed to allow companies to create an enterprise portal in 5 business days or less. In this rapidly changing market these two companies are keeping the pace.