BackWeb, EC-Gate Partner on Push-Enabled B2B Portals

BackWeb Technologies, a provider of push technology, and EC-Gate, an ASP that designs industry-specific portals for B2B marketplaces, have signed a deal to develop what they call proactive B2B portals. That means users will no longer have to access data from portals but will receive information "pushed out" to them.

The BackWeb Polite push technology delivers alerts as well as information. Alerts are escalated from one device to the next to ensure that urgent information reaches its destination. For instance, a push-enabled portal can immediately alert sales people to price changes, new product features or client satisfaction results. The portals can also be used to beef up customer relationship management systems. A financial services portal can, for instance, notify key clients of new products, changes in interest rates or movements in stock prices.

The BackWeb technology enables media-rich content to reach desktop PC users without affecting the performance of other network applications, such as e-mail and browsing. This capability allows portal hosts to simultaneously deliver audio and video files, slide presentations and other multimedia content to thousands of employees or millions of consumers.

BackWeb is taking another step to enrich the technology by integrating it with wireless. The company's recent acquisition of Mobix Communications' technology will allow it to offer technology that communicates with different carriers and wireless networks—via SMS and QAP. The integration of the wireless technology is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

That capability was attractive to E-Gate. "We believe push technology—over any type of network—will be an important feature in the B2B environment," Sebastian Kuntz, CEO of E-Gate, said in a statement.

EC-Gate will initially target several markets with the push solution. The ASP may, for example, extend EC-Bouw, the electronic marketplace it developed for the Dutch construction industry. EC-Bouw covers the entire supply chain, from manufacturers and wholesalers to distributors and contractors. A push-enabled EC-Bouw might, for example, allow a manager to notify a truck driver on the road that the destination for a delivery has changed.