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Factiva Publisher: On Time and On Target with First Branded Product
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Posted On July 24, 2000
Marking the first anniversary of its formation, Factiva (http://www.factiva.com) is delivering its first branded product, Factiva Publisher. Residing on an organization's intranet, Factiva Publisher is a "ready-to-use content feed and server application" that enables clients to publish and integrate Factiva and other external content with internal content. Clare Hart, Factiva president and CEO, is delighted with both the product and the progress. "It's an accomplishment of a goal we put forth, and it's a big win to be on time," she said.

From Factiva's perspective, Publisher's key capability is that it integrates content previously available on two separate Factiva products, Dow Jones Interactive and Reuters Business Briefing Select. From a client's perspective, Publisher's key capability is that it not only integrates Factiva content, but content from other publishers and sources, with internal proprietary memos, reports, etc., providing a single search-and-access point for employees to content available on the intranet.

From an information professional's stance, a number of features seem particularly intriguing. Using the Editorial Interface, those managing intranet content can review, edit, sort, code, highlight as "hot," and add commentary to content prior to its posting. Factiva Intelligent Indexing capabilities can be applied to both incoming external and internal content with "more like this" functionality. The Administration Interface generates usage reports showing page, folder, and document viewing, both by number and percentage of views, permitting rapid and regular editorial changes.

As an "out-of-the-box" solution, Factiva has focused on ensuring that Publisher is easy to use for all those involved—from Webmasters to casual users. Page Builder, which Factiva says "enables developers to place news modules anywhere in the intranet—without having to write HTML or JavaScript" also allows Publisher to be integrated into an existing intranet design. Hart readily admitted that it was easy enough for her to build her own Personal Pages as well, right through to adding color coding.

Factiva Publisher will sell for a $7,500 U.S. access or services fee, with a $1,000 annual renewal fee, plus content costs. It also runs an "instant search on any highlighted term in the Web browser" and contains Factiva Alerter, which allows for downloads to PDAs (personal digital assistants).

This product is clearly a logical step in Factiva's content-integration strategy. Publisher is the first full-blown packaged product in a line of Factiva integration products. Several successful Publisher beta sites are underway, and Factiva plans to document a case study of Publisher in action. Factiva recognizes that content deployment via intranets is critical for organizations, and Publisher, as well as its partnership with Microsoft and Oracle, is positioning the company to be a major player in this area.

Publisher was, in fact, given development priority over Factiva's dot-com product, Factiva.com, a business-intelligence service that will be a destination site combining the content and feature sets of Reuters Business Briefing and Dow Jones Interactive. Due in mid-2001, Factiva.com will act as the platform for the next generation of products.

Although information professionals and information technologists remain key markets for Factiva, Hart says that the company's role in making enterprise intranets purposeful is opening other markets for it, such as internal corporate communications. Publisher is also a useful component in an organization's knowledge management suite, enabling content and knowledge sharing, collaborative filtering, and integrating internal applications.

Factiva is attending to both its strategic and tactical details, evolving into its own entity that is neither Dow Jones or Reuters dominated. With recent "Factiva" hirings, the company's workforce is now approximately 45 percent Dow Jones, 45 percent Reuters, and 10 percent Factiva. Although its focus is on the future, Factiva continues its loyalty to the information profession client group and to customers of current offerings, recognizing that while new products like Publisher offer significant enhancements, they also offer organizational change pains. Factiva has offerings for everyone in the enterprise—the modules within the Oracle infrastructure, Publisher, content, or the Enterprise Consulting Program to provide clients with the option of external expertise before, during, or after implementation. If this is what Factiva has been able to accomplish in its first year, when it was also dealing with merger issues plus a new president and CEO, just imagine what its second year will bring—for both Factiva and for the content-application environment.


Rebecca Jones is the principal of Dysart & Jones Associates.

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