Business briefs

Network Leaders Form Optical-Systems Firm

Representatives from Cisco Systems Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc., Nortel Networks Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have formed Maple Networks Inc. in San Jose. The new company plans to develop multiservice optical systems that address carriers' costs of managing and providing multiple services over their networks. Raza Foundries Inc. has invested $9 million in the initial round of financing. Bill Joll, former president of Nortel Networks' European Market Solutions division, was named Maple Networks' CEO.

Internet Service Firms Team Up

Primix Solutions Inc., an Internet services company in Watertown, Mass., has acquired Primant AB, a Swedish Internet services company with 63 employees. Primix said the acquisition will allow it to better serve a growing base of international clients.

Utilities to Develop European Exchange

A group of 12 European utilities companies have agreed to create a business-to-business portal for procurement exchange, announced Italian electricity company Enel SpA last week. The companies will create an electronic market for buyers and suppliers in the electricity and water utilities sector, Enel said. The consortium intends to begin online exchanges during the third quarter, making use of online auction mechanisms, according to Enel.

SAS to Launch Online Spin-off

U.S. statistical analysis and data warehousing software vendor SAS Institute Inc. recently announced that it's creating a new a business-to-business Internet operation. IBiomatics LLC will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Cary, N.C.-based SAS. The company will concentrate on biomedical research, SAS said in a statement. The subsidiary will use Internet portals to allow life sciences researchers to exchange data about the safety and effectiveness of drugs and medical devices.

IBM, Macromedia Bond for E-Biz Apps

IBM and Macromedia Inc. last week announced a multiyear strategic alliance that they hope will help their customers develop and deploy personalized e-commerce applications. IBM will license and distribute Macromedia's LikeMinds Personalization Server as an integrated component of future versions of its WebSphere product line. Macromedia, in turn, will license and distribute a developer's version of IBM's WebSphere Application Server with its Dreamweaver content-authoring platforms for the Web. The agreement also calls for IBM to bundle trial versions of Macromedia's Flash, Freehand, Director and Fireworks offerings with WebSphere Studio.

DoubleClick Bets On Flatbase

Internet advertising company DoubleClick Inc. in New York announced last week that it has acquired 60% of the stock of Flatbase Inc., also in New York. Flatbase provides automated design and management for conducting online sweepstakes. DoubleClick said it would acquire the remaining shares of Flatbase sometime this month. The two companies didn't disclose financial terms of the deal.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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