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KnowledgeLink Interactive Changes Name to powerize.com; Upgrades Intranet Server Designed for Corporate Data Handling
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Posted On January 18, 1999
KnowledgeLink Interactive, Inc. (http://www.k-link.com), a company founded in January 1997 to provide advanced automated business research and intelligence-gathering tools, has changed its name to powerize.com (http://www.powerize.com). At the same time, the company announced the release of version 1.5 of its flagship product, the powerize Server, formerly called the PerSavant Server. The powerize Server, The Corporate Portal Machine, provides an intranet-based, secure portal and online information service. It links to the powerize.com Business Research Center, a collection of business and trade press sources, as well as both the public and "hidden" Web, and other online sources.

According to company founder, chairman, and chief executive officer Edwin R. Addison: "The new name evokes our unique ability to empower, or 'powerize,' businesspeople to get the information they need, when they need it, no matter where it is, to make the best decisions they possibly can. This change is just one of several that we have made, and will be making over the coming months, to position our company for fast growth. ... The company's new slogan is 'powerize your search for the right information'."

Addison started KnowledgeLink Interactive after he sold Conquest, producer of a top natural language searching software, to Excalibur. He felt the new company was the "natural next step ... Conquest could find a needle in a haystack, but the Web made too many haystacks. KnowledgeLink or powerize.com looks at the problems of too many haystacks. We can handle multiple haystacks, searching not one database, but all relevant databases. The old model was one aggregator hosting all data on a mainframe. Now we've moved to virtual aggregation." Addison indicated that powerize.com has over 30,000 desktops connected now.

The Powerize Server supports access to and dissemination of competitive intelligence and business information through intranet and Web connections. Users can conduct ad hoc online searches against multiple and distributed information sources. The Server also supports dynamic research agents called wizards that can constantly monitor sources for new, relevant information.

Sources tapped by the powerize Server include the following:

  • Intranet-based sources: any ODBC database, any intranet Web site, Lotus Notes databases, and document collections indexed by tools from Documentum, Excalibur, and Verity
  • Professional online services: DIALOG databases, Infonautics' E-Library, and powerize.com's own Business Research Center, a combination of the infoMarket and Newsstand services purchased from IBM in 1998 with more than 32 million articles from over 8,000 publications on U.S. and international businesses
  • Newsfeeds: real-time and archival feeds from providers such as NewsEdge and COMTEX
  • Internet: any HTML-based Web site, all of the major search portals, any subscription site to which the user has authorized access, and scores of ?hidden Web" sites with data-driven business and professional databases beyond the reach of major search engines

According to Addison, at present the company has contracts with more than 60 publishers and aggregators, most for hosting, some for linking. They follow copyright laws and do try to form written relations with sites. They expect to announce more Internet connections this spring, including one to Dow Jones Interactive that relies on DJI's Intranet Toolkit.

The powerize Server integrates and analyzes query results from multiple sources, summarizes them, and provides them to users in a customized presentation. Users can configure powerize Server 1.5 to integrate with company intranets based upon the number of users, security specifications, and cost constraints for fee-based online services.

For even more focused intelligence gathering, powerize.com offers pre-configured, customized versions of the powerize Server for the aerospace and defense, energy, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications industries. These industry solutions streamline the process of creating powerful, easy-to-use corporate portals for users in those industries.

The company provides the powerize Server's Software Development Kit (SDK) to help users create customized solutions for other industries and applications. The company holds classes to train users and value-added resellers to write their own wizards or links. In monitoring Web sites, users can bookmark specific Web sites they want tracked for changes and build customized intelligence reports, for example, in dynamic HTML that keep updating, according to Addison.

The powerize Server runs on Windows NT systems, but CEO Addison indicated that they plan to expand to UNIX-based intranets this spring. Pricing for powerize Server 1.5 starts at $250 per seat for a one-time, perpetual license plus an annual 20 percent fee for maintenance. They also offer volume discounts. In volume, according to Addison, the server itself might cost $5,000 plus $100 per user. The more sources users link to, the better the value, particularly if the users can identify free content in Web searches and avoid paying a premium source. Addison also indicated that when the user base for powerize.com reaches 100,000, probably in the year 2000, they plan to negotiate finder fees and better discounts for users with content providers.


Barbara Quint was senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.


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