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Portal’s content management builds business

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Content management doesn’t just have defensive purposes. At Cellmania.com, a wireless phone portal based in Mountain View, Calif., it’s a key strategy for bringing in new business.

Co-founder and VP-marketing Neerav Berry used BroadVision Inc.’s One-To-One as his application development environment. He said its management capabilities let him write one set of content for both the Web and wireless devices.

Using One-To-One and JavaScript, Cellmania built a cached database that delivers cell phone recommendations quickly to users based on a rules engine and configuration system. The resulting application has been licensed to retailers such as Circuit City and Office Depot.

BroadVision’s extensible markup language-based content management system is a key part of the solution, Berry said.

‘‘There’s the database layer, then the business logic, and you have XML as the interface between the presentation and business logic,’’ he said.

And once written, the resulting system is very adaptable. While written for wireless application protocol, ‘‘we can make things work with other wireless protocols pretty easily,’’ Berry said. ‘‘We could work with CHTML [chunks of html] or Palm or VoxML [voice-over XML] or even the I-Mode’’ from NTT DoCoMo.

‘‘Content management in its broadest sense is what the Web is all about,’’ he added. ‘‘Content drives transactions. A significant part of our company is devoted to collecting content on wireless plans and WAP applications so we can build our directory.’’ Presenting that data in a way that drives transactions is still difficult, said Carol Greenstreet, senior marketing manager for Redwood City, Calif.-based BroadVision Inc. ‘‘It’s a critical problem’’ without a unified solution.

System limitations

Each system, such as Cellmania’s, still has to be written from scratch, she said. Tools such as BroadVision’s only go so far.

But turning complex problems into packaged solutions for other businesses is at the heart of creating value, Berry concluded. ‘‘We’re not like a regular customer trying to put up a Web site,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re trying to build a different kind of business, a wireless software company.’’ As complex as the content management challenge is--and Berry said Cellmania invested 40 work-years in its BroadVision solution--the potential value to be unlocked is huge.

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