February 13, 2001, 4:58 PM — With the explosion of extranets that are driving business-to-business applications, the need to create portals that can easily be designed and deployed by end-users is at a premium. As the co-founder and CTO at CoVia (formerly Glyphica), Daryoush Paknad has been building enabling technology to create just such a portal architecture. In an interview with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, Paknad explains how companies such as American Airlines, Automated Data Processing (ADP), InfoNow, Intuit, and Wells Fargo allow end-users to drive cross-company business interactions.
InfoWorld: How do you describe what CoVia does?
Paknad: We basically work on business-to-business infrastructure, which we call the Business Network platform. It allows business users who aren't really technical to create dynamic relationships with their customers. They have control over the interface for the site, and because it is part of a network, they'll benefit from the hierarchy of nodes that we created in that network.
InfoWorld: How does this strategy play out in an enterprise?
Paknad: Within an enterprise, companies leverage this product to reach their employees. Each node can be a department within the enterprise. What our customers want is for the different business units to manage and author documents and run their own business units. With this architecture, the corporation is able to reach the whole employee base, but still allow marketing to have its own look, to have its own authors, and to reach its own constituencies. Through this platform, marketing or sales departments are able to create what we call private client sites to provide very secure, persistent collaboration areas to work with their customers.
InfoWorld: Why is this valuable?
Paknad: Partly because of the notion of global messaging. The corporation could basically broadcast messages to all nodes and all the users within each node. We can also have this notion of local messaging, in which authors or publishers at that node could send information to all their constituencies. If you look at it in the light of reseller or channel management, some of the difficulties they have right now are that companies are having a really tough time sending persistent, up-to-date information about their product and pricing to their resellers. By the time the reseller has sold something, the product configuration has changed, and it's a huge cost. Through this platform, the company gets to publish marketing collateral and product information not only to their resellers but also to the clients of the reseller. They're almost always 100 percent sure that everyone's getting the latest information.