Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo! are teaming to help corporations build customised portals for their employees called Corporate My Yahoo. According to Steve Au-yeung, Hong Kong general manager of HP's Enterprise Computing Sales Organisation, the worldwide agreement with Yahoo! is not exclusive and HP in greater China will seek other working partners which might include popular mainland portals such as Sina.com and local Internet service providers. The portals will provide corporate employees with a secure access point for content and services to both corporate intranets and the Web. For example, an employee will have his personal Yahoo! portal with links to internal work-related information such as order-tracking and company directories as well as external services such as current affairs, financial news and travel reservations. HP believes that there is a huge potential for corporate portals worldwide and that with this service, it is tapping into what will grow to be a US$14 billion intranet portals market by 2003, according to Merrill Lynch 1998 data. 'If a company builds its own portal, it will take a long time and be very costly,' said Mr Au-yeung. 'You need a lot of internal IT people to create, deploy and manage it. They will have to develop the solution from scratch, design the portal or buy portalware applications, link it to their back end and negotiate for services with different content and service providers.' The process was time-consuming, taking at least a year, he said, adding that HP's new service would be ready in a matter of weeks. Corporate My Yahoo users will have access to the entire suite of Yahoo!'s 13 free member services, including e-mail, instant messaging and financial market news. This can popularise instant messaging, touted as the next killer application by analysts, in the enterprise. Yahoo!'s e-mail and instant messaging services can also compete with Lotus' and Novell's corporate messaging applications Notes and Groupwise. HP and Yahoo! will charge a pay-as-you-go subscription for the service, which will be available early next year. Pricing model is not available yet. According to Mr Au-yeung, HP is close to announcing partners for this new service targeted at a vertical market such as banking and finance or the medical industry. HP would probably be working with Yahoo!, too, because of the strong branding, but it was definitely working on similar partnerships with other content providers, he said. HP will combine Yahoo!'s interface with a number of HP Internet technologies such as e-speak portal services and middleware from BEA Software. The corporate Web site service is part of HP's push into 'e-services', its strategy of helping customers do more of their business on the Internet. In the meantime, Yahoo! has been broadening the services it offers to businesses, partners and advertisers in an effort to increase its revenue. The agreement with HP gives Yahoo! a new source of revenue and lets it distribute its partners' content to a new audience. It also gives Yahoo! a stronger foothold in the market for Internet services for businesses.