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NewsEdge Offers New Insight on the News
by
Posted On May 17, 1999
The NewsEdge Corporation was formed a year ago from the merger of three companies, Individual, Inc.; Desktop Data, Inc.; and ADP/ISS. Now, the Enterprise unit of NewsEdge is taking full advantage of the merger's benefits in offering a new service that builds on the best of each company's products in a full-service package that offers greatly expanded user management capabilities and includes service and support. NewsEdge Insight is a current-awareness news service that combines precise briefings on 1,400 NewsEdge Review business topics (as in the former First! service) with real-time updates of news and information (as in the former NewsEdge Web or Insight 4.x services). According to the company, this is not simply a product or software upgrade, but a new, comprehensive, and versatile service that bundles the application, extensive content, customization capabilities, and customer service and support under a simplified pricing plan.

For a company, NewsEdge Insight delivers news throughout the enterprise via desktop browsers. Users and workgroups personalize the service by selecting topics they wish to see. System administrative tools allow easy management of default settings, access rights, user templates, shared accounts, and user groups. NewsEdge NewsObjects, a special component that is sold separately but is included free with Insight, allows customization of the news service to enterprise requirements, and includes the ability to embed news into departmental or organizational intranets or portals. Customer support and knowledge consulting for customization are included with the service, with an option to pay for additional engineering group consulting. Sites may opt to have NewsEdge host their service or maintain the server in-house.

Features of NewsEdge Insight include:

  • Pre-publication cover-to-cover newspapers, business publications, and trade publications
  • Real-time newswires from about 10 wire services
  • Daily e-mail briefings from personal NewsEdge Review topics
  • Scheduled e-mail updates from selected real-time topics
  • Company pages that tie together company-related news, quotes, charts, backgrounds, and SEC filings (with content drawn from partner sites Quote.com, Disclosure, and Hoovers)
  • Ability to integrate an organization's internal messages, news, and research with external news
  • Simple user interface and personalization options

Behind NewsEdge Insight is the NewsEdge Refinery, NewsEdge's proprietary news processing facility, which uses a combination of technology and human review to make news and information easier to find and use. Each day, tens of thousands of news stories from over 500 sources are processed through the NewsEdge Refinery and organized into one or more of over 1,400 NewsEdge Review topics to provide customers with a concise, comprehensive briefing on the latest news on a particular subject or industry.

Cirrus Logic has been a NewsEdge customer since 1996 and has been a beta tester for NewsEdge Insight. According to Jon Gimpel, online communications manager, their employees appreciate the additional news sources they now have, the specificity of the review topics, and the personalization capabilities. He said, "We were impressed by the effective combination of real-time news, detailed industry topics, and extended company information that can be easily tailored to each user's interests." He added that the new interface is quite nice and easier to use.

According to Chip deVillafranca, senior product manager for Insight, the service addresses the two common business information problems. For "information overlook," which means a user can't afford to miss a news story, the system provides real-time updates. For "information overload," which means users are overwhelmed by too much information to sort through, the system provides a focused, filtered briefing, without duplication of stories. With its flexibility and customization, the service can handle individual and group information needs. With easy access to customer support, users should be able to obtain the search results they want.

Current customers of NewsEdge products may continue through this year but will be offered the option of upgrading to NewsEdge Insight. Customers concerned about the bottom line and additional cost of the service can opt for a "zero cost migration path," which maintains their current contract cost with some reduction of Insight content or elements, while providing the opportunity to evaluate the service. Pricing for NewsEdge Insight is based on user count. More specific pricing information was not available in time for posting of this NewsBreak.

The company continues to offer its other services, including NewsEdge Live, which offers a continuous connection to real-time scrolling news on the desktop. Through its recently announced Internet business unit, NewsPage.com, the company also provides business news and information services to more than 925,000 registered independent users over the Internet. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.newsedge.com.


Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.


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