ATG Gets a Helping Hand

The next version of the company's e-commerce and portal suite includes software from Hyperion, Autonomy and Tibco.

Art Technology Group Inc. next week will introduce the next version of its e-commerce and portal application suite, which features integrated analytics, search and application integration technologies licensed from other developers.

ATG 6 includes Hyperion Solutions Corp.s Essbase OLAP Server for analytics, integrated search software from Autonomy Corp. plc and integration connectors to Siebel Systems Inc. and SAP AGs business applications from Tibco Software Inc.

In addition the next version of the software will also include improved Web publishing support, such as content management and asset management.

ATG 6 is divided into three modules: Publishing, for developing catalogs, promotions and service information; Analytics, for insights into sales trends and user behavior; and Search, for access to product and self-service information.

Bob Buttacavoli, global director of e-commerce strategy and development at Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.s Mercer consulting business in New York City, is most interested in the Analytics module in ATG 6. Mercer is currently on ATG 5.6 but is in the beta program for version 6.

"We have sites in 40 countries and 26 different topics on each site, thats a huge variation in information and languages," Buttacavoli said. "We need to understand the local trends so that the global site can react to them."

Buttacavoli said Mercer could then tailor site content as well as business-to-employee portal applications its developing, also using ATG technology, to customers. He said Mercer already has search and content management applications from other vendors already in place.

"In the future, well be looking to make investments in reporting and other things," said Buttacavoli. " [ATGs licensing] strategy will require a lot less integration on our end. As long as they go with top quality vendors to do the job and they seem to be going after the top companies in the respective areas."

ATG 6 also includes application server support for J2EE 1.3, which Buttacavoli said was key.

"Theyre as compliant as possible with J2EE," he said. "That was a knock on them a few years ago, but theyve kept their promise on that end."

The upgrade has tighter integration between the existing Commerce and Portal modules, and enhanced capabilities for administration and for driving business processes from the portal, according to officials, in Cambridge, Mass.

They said ATG 6 is intended to meet the needs of companies looking to consolidate Web pages and centralize Web operations. Government, telcos, manufacturers and retailers, are the chief verticals targeted by ATG.

The ATG Publishing module as well as the Portal and Commerce module enhancements and Tibco Siebel integration will be delivered in the fourth quarter, officials said. The rest of ATG 6 will be available in the first quarter of next year.