ALTEREGO INTRODUCES ADAPTIVE PERFORMANCE
Proven Methodology, Unique Microdesign Techniques Provide CompleteREDWOOD CITY, Calif. - January 30, 2001 - AlterEgo Networks, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise software and services for enabling pervasive Internet computing, today launched a new project implementation methodology for effectively defining, testing, deploying and managing enterprise-scale applications that enable pervasive access to the Internet from any user platform and any location. AlterEgos Adaptive Performance Methodology(TM) is based on nearly 22 years of design and user interface expertise of AlterEgos resident Chief Interface Technologist, Dr. Mike Mills, and has field-proven its effectiveness on over a dozen high-volume, global wireless Web deployments. AlterEgo is the first company to deliver this kind of methodology to enterprises, helping businesses as they consider the challenges and opportunities of the pervasive Internet.
Within AlterEgos Adaptive Performance Methodology are guidelines for analyzing an enterprises project requirements and determining clear steps for evolving a pervasive Internet model based on unique organizational needs. Also included are specific best-practice guidelines and techniques for customizing content, applications, navigation and user interfaces based on the specific capabilities of a device while taking into consideration such often-overlooked elements as network bandwidth, geographic location and other constraints impacting the mobile or wireless environment.
AlterEgos Adaptive Performance Methodology constitutes the backbone of a broad professional services offering, spanning complete outsourced network services, implementation and full lifecycle consulting services, Microdesign expertise and strategic relationships with some of the industrys leading systems integration firms.
Many enterprises today struggle with the correct direction to take with respect to building out an infrastructure capable of supporting pervasive access to the Internet, explained Richard Ling, President and CEO, AlterEgo Networks. What results is a series of short-term and often conflicting technology decisions that may support a single device or a single application, but only add to the complexity within an enterprise. The Adaptive Performance Methodology is AlterEgos attempt to add clarity to the future pervasive Internet and provide tried-and-true guidance that will benefit any business.
Unique Microdesign Practice
AlterEgo also recognizes the significant role microdesign must play in the development of the pervasive Internet. A recent report published by Forrester Research (Mastering Mobile Site Design, November 2000, Carsten Schmidt) found that 70% of the more than 9,000 WAP phone users surveyed were dissatisfied with their experience. Chief among their demands was improved ease of use.
Firms take the same ad hoc approach to WAP as they did to the early Web--and make the same mistakesTodays WAP sites merely shrink Web offerings, failing to deliver new value to mobile users. Firms need a new approach built for the mobile Internet: Microdesign, said Carsten Schmidt, Associate Analyst, Forrester Research.
To guide its customers through this Microdesign challenge, AlterEgo has employed the services of industry veteran Dr. Mike Mills. Mills has dedicated his career studying the interrelation of humans and machines. Holding numerous patents in the areas of digital video and sound, his most recent work resulted in the Audrey(TM) Internet Appliance now offered by 3Com Corporation. His research and design efforts have brought him in touch with interfaces for products ranging from vehicle information systems to underwater robotics equipment. Dr. Mills is formerly principal scientist at Apple Computer, one of the founding fathers of Quicktime, senior designer at IDEO Product Development, tenured faculty in NYUs Interactive Telecommunications Program, Ph.D. in Cognitive and Communications Studies from McGill University.
This issue of user experience with respect to constrained devices is critical to the question of whether a user will stay at a site or move on to another, more satisfying destination, says Mills. The window of opportunity within the wireless world, however, is tiny. Users are more sophisticated and have come to expect more based on the improvements made to wired web designs. Businesses can reap an endless amount of benefit from delivering data to cell phones or PDAs by simply understanding the interrelation between the user and the device.
Since joining AlterEgo in July 2000, Mills has been documenting objectives and technical optimizations for wireless interfaces in a style guide for content engineers. The lengthy guide makes clear that there is much room for enhancing the wireless Web experience, a sentiment shared by designers and users alike. All of AlterEgos professional services team members are trained on Mills style guidelines. This team is available for customer consulting to jump-start the design process and throughout the entire lifecycle of a given project. Elements of this style guide are also made available to customers via wizards and design templates embedded within AlterEgo Designer, the companys XSL template creation tool. AlterEgo continues to publish new wizards that help enterprises manage complex design issues throughout the design and maintenance of their wireless project.
Implementation and Project Lifecycle Services
In addition to microdesign techniques, AlterEgo offers a series of services designed to support an enterprise through the entire lifecycle of a pervasive Internet deployment. These services all leverage the unique device and network expertise that has been developed by AlterEgo and field-tested on over a dozen high volume customer implementations. Leveraging the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Methodology(TM), AlterEgo guides businesses through five basic stages of an adaptive enterprise implementation:
Define Prior to implementation, a full analysis of enterprise requirements and goals is conducted. An assessment of the current enterprise infrastructure is completed and an outline of the project scope is filed with the customer. Recommendations are made regarding product and service deployments, long-term versus immediate needs and a full lifecycle of technologies is built.
Build From product shipments to installations at the customer site to actual interaction with AlterEgos content engineers and microdesign team, the foundation for the pervasive Internet environment is created. Navigation and user experience is defined by building templates for content, images and applications throughout the enterprise.
Deploy XSL-style sheets are installed throughout the enterprise, replicated in each core adaptation engine deployment. Software is installed and integrated with third-party products.
Test A detailed QA and testing process is completed to ensure the highest levels of performance. Performance testing continues to ensure quality across all target devices, multiple network environments and high volume periods.
Manage Following implementation and throughout the lifecycle of the project, AlterEgo continues working closely with its customers, providing consultation and design guidance as projects are revised or as enterprise needs develop. Content engineers and microdesign team members are available on an ongoing basis for projects relating to site recreation or complex translation processes that require expert guidance.
AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Methodology is intended to provide experience and knowledge to AlterEgo customers as they transition their business to a pervasive Internet model. The overall objective is simple and straightforward: to improve the success of our customers through expert guidance and ongoing support. AlterEgo views Adaptive Performance Methodology as the vehicle for collecting and distributing its experience in the best use of its products. Going forward, AlterEgo will continue to enhance and expand AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Methodology with even more proprietary knowledge and innovative delivery mechanisms.
Systems Integration Partnerships
For specialized and vertical project expertise, AlterEgo has partnered with many of the industrys leading e-business consulting and systems integration firms, particularly to address the needs of customers requiring specific expertise in the telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, travel and technology sectors.
Business users looking to gain pervasive access to the Internet have clear needs. They want to access the information critical to their needs, optimized exactly for them, and then the ability to easily log out to continue their day, said George Doumaney, Principal of Extended Networks Consulting Group. Secure infrastructure solutions for wireless and wired access need to take into consideration the aspects of user experience: how is information displayed, how is navigation conducted, how quickly information is delivered, how intuitive is my overall environment. AlterEgos practice built around the need for a consistent, positive user experience will be a critical element in the evolution of the wireless market.
For businesses looking to completely outsource the development, deployment and delivery processes of their Adaptive Enterprise, AlterEgo offers a series of network services via the AlterEgo Adaptive Network(TM). This 10 node network distributed across North America and Europe leverages the AlterEgo Adaptive Performance Platform(TM) to bring specific functions content adaptation, image transformation, bandwidth detection and intelligent routing that deliver a customized, high-quality Internet experience to every user regardless of platform (wired desktop or any wireless thin client device), location or bandwidth connection.
Two distinct service offerings, AirLoom(TM) (HTML-to-any device adaptation offered in partnership with Aether Systems) and AlterEgo XS(TM) (XML-to-any device adaptation) offer businesses a simple yet powerful solution for building an adaptive enterprise. Each service takes advantage of a highly clustered network that offers the highest levels of performance and the capability to scale to meet massive usage levels. Each of the 10 network nodes leverages private Network Access Points, operated by InterNAP Network Services Corporation, that circumvent the congestion and latency of the public Internet, uniquely improving performance and reliability for users worldwide.
Using the patent-pending AlterEgo Designer(TM), design consultants from AlterEgo work with customers to define content and applications for delivery to each specific device type while building the best user experience through optimized navigation, layout and user interfaces for each platform. As requests for data are made, information is adapted live within the network and delivered based on the specifications made by content producers. Data can be automatically adapted to virtually any wireless markup language, including HTML, WAP/WML (Wireless Application Protocol/Wireless Markup Language), Palm OS, Windows CE, interactive television, or any other emerging standard, as well as being adapted to nearly any form factor for any type of device. The result is an unobtrusive solution for scalable delivery of applications and content to every user optimized for every type of device.
AlterEgos Adaptive Network Services(TM) have been in full operation since May 2000 and have supported numerous deployments of high-volume, high-bandwidth customer implementations.
About AlterEgo Networks
AlterEgo Networks provides enterprise software and services that accelerate the productivity of employees, partners and customers by enabling scalable dynamic access to web content and applications whenever and wherever its needed. The companys Adaptive Performance Suite(TM) of products provides a framework for enabling pervasive access to the Internet, integrating with existing IT infrastructure products and technologies. The scalable Adaptive Performance Suite platform dynamically adapts and delivers content customized for any mobile device or desktop platform and highly personalized for each users requirements. With headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., and London England, AlterEgo maintains partnerships with Interwoven, Macromedia, Inktomi, Aether Systems and SRI International. Select customers include USA Today.com, E*TRADEs ClearStation, ConsumerReview.com, Ask Jeeves, and Highwire. For more information, please visit our Web site at http://www.aego.com or call 1-866-ALTEREGO.
AlterEgo Networks, AlterEgo Mobile Web Server, AlterEgo Content Adaptation Server, AlterEgo Adaptive Portal Server, AlterEgo Adaptive Hub, AlterEgo Designer, AlterEgo Adaptive Network Service and The Adaptive Network are all trademarks of AlterEgo, Inc. All other company and product names are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.