Avanade Moves Into Portal Implementation

The new Avanade service uses a proprietary framework to help clients quickly and cost effectively deploy Intranets that are highly customized

Avanade Inc. expanded its service offerings beyond Microsoft Corp.s Windows 2000 migration planning and .Net solutions to add a new portal implementation service based on the Microsoft Solutions for Intranets Web-based interface.

The new Avanade service uses a proprietary framework to help clients quickly and cost effectively deploy Intranets that are highly customized, officials said. The framework, dubbed the Avanade Component Architecture for Portals, uses at its core the Microsoft SharePoint and Content Management servers.

"Anything we can bring to accelerate [portal deployment] is welcomed. Weve seen some customers take first steps with portal products and not be very satisfied," said Ashish Kumar, Chief Technology Officer at Avanade in New York. "There is an ongoing cost of development [because] you are never done. Youre always integrating new things."

Avanade is leveraging its expertise in Microsoft technology and its best practices to help clients create portals that pull together data from disparate sources.

"A lot of ingredients go into a portal – searches in multiple data stores, application integration, security, document and content management. There are lot of different products that dont always play well together," said Kumar.

The ACA.Portal can also be used as a single framework from which to build multiple portals.

The new portal implementation service is part of Avanades Enterprise Collaboration practice area. Avanade is also working with three US-based clients in its .Net Solutions practice area.

"Customers want to leap a generation in terms of their vision for what they can get out of that application and the efficiency they can get out of that development," said Avanades general manager Adam Warby of those early adopter customers.

"Those are typically new application developments that are definable projects," said Warby in Chicago, Ill. Application integration projects typically look to gain the most out of existing investments, he said.

When it comes to .Net, Avanade sees itself as an evangelizer for the emerging Microsoft technology.

"I spend half my time helping customers sort through hype versus reality on new web programming models. Microsoft was out of the gate early. We help customers think through how to take small steps with positive ROI as they build toward the full-blown [Microsoft] vision," said Kumar.

Avanade also intends to build on its .Net services with new support for Visual Studio.Net in the coming months, according to Warby.

Despite Avanades quiet stance in the services market, Warby said that the joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, started last year, is on track to reach profitability in its new fiscal year.