Atex Acquires Polopoly

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By: Meg Campbell

Atex has acquired Swedish software developer Polopoly AB, giving it a key Web-publishing piece for its Digital News and Advertising (DNA) initiative.

Stockholm-based Polopoly develops Web-publishing and content-management systems built on Java J2EE open standards and Service Oriented Architecture. The company, whose media customers include Dagens Nyheter, Corelio, Neue Zuercher Zeitung, Metro Nordic, and mtvU, Viacom’s 24-hour US college media network, has developed tools to create and manage Web sites, provide interactive, collaborative and community-focused experiences for visitors, and deliver personalized content on various digital devices.

The acquisition is a response to changes in newspapers’ business model and increasing demands for an integrated, single-database publishing and content-management system, Atex Chief Technology Officer Peter Marsh explains.

“Our philosophy had been to interface with any Web publishing system that our clients had,” Marsh says, “but as a new newsroom model emerged of Web first with breaking news, we couldn’t do as much as we wanted to support this 24-hour online/offline model. So we looked for someone we could partner with where the Web content-management system and print-management system could function as one.”

According to Marsh, Polopoly’s Web services interface is “completely consistent” with Atex development, and the resulting single-database system also can be extended to advertising.

“Advertising becomes a lot more valuable if it can be packaged and delivered from searches in trusted news content,” Marsh says. “That’ll give Atex a differentiator that I’ve not seen in our competitors.”

“Polopoly fits exactly with our Atex DNA strategy and our declared intention to deliver other digital technologies enabling our customers to rapidly exploit digital revenues. Atex wants to see 50% of its revenues come from Web-centric, mobile and video applications by 2011,” Atex CEO John Hawkins said in a statement.

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