Six weeks after embarrassingly withdrawing his bid to go public, Pointcast drew some comfort from Hewlett Packard and a handful of other large companies adopting its latest push technology.
The HP announcement is doubly sweet for Pointcast because, two years ago, HP was one of a number of companies to ban its employees from using the Pointcast Network on their office computers.
The computer giant originally banned the use of the push service because it was afraid that the continuous delivery of information would devour too much bandwidth.
Since then, Pointcast has retooled its software and to be more corporate friendly. Version 2.5 of the Pointcast Network, which was launched in May, supports IP Multicast which allows businesses to send time sensitive messages directly to employees' desktops via real time corporate alerts. It enables faster updates of frequently used content and also reduces bandwidth usage.
Hewlett Packard's software and services group has been trialing Pointcast to deliver news and information to 1,000 employees. It has been such a success that the service will be expanded to all the group's 27,000 workers.
"When Pointcast came out with an Internet server product that allowed us to cache inside the firewall, we tested it out. At that point, we felt comfortable with it and thought it was a great concept, so long as it didn't bring the network down," said Bill Hornung, managing editor for 'The Edge', the internal name for the software and service group's information channel.
Push technology or 'Internet broadcasting', as it has been rechristened, has not been as successful as initially thought. Pointcast competitors Backweb and Marimba have carved out niches in Intranets and software distribution respectively to compensate for this.
Pointcast has until now stayed true to its original message and has nearly 1.5 million subscribers. It garners 80 per cent of its revenues - which as a private company it does not disclose - from advertising.
The company had made plans to go public but withdrew on 15 July, stating that new options had emerged since it announced its intentions of selling shares on the open market.
Reaction to the planned share offering was said to be cool as Wall Street was just about ending its love affair with Internet stocks.
Pointcast CEO David Dorman said at the time the company was beginning talks with a strategic partner. This week there should be news on how those talks are developing.
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