Netcentives Scores Inktomi Cross-Sell Deal

Netcentives inked a multi-year deal Thursday with Internet infrastructure software company Inktomi Thursday, in which the companies will bundle the online marketing software company’s RewardsBroker platform with Inktomi’s outsourced e-commerce software.

Netcentives’ RewardBroker software enables merchants with secure data transfer, transaction verification services and point award capabilities. The RewardBroker software also enables merchants to participate in multiple loyalty programs and offer their customers different choices of reward currency, including such as AOL/AAdvantage Miles, and Netcentives-powered ClickMiles and LycosPoints.

The combined system, say the companies, leverages both firms’ technologies to carry out and reward transactions, detect and record incentivized clickthroughs, and track fees between referring portal sites and retailers, effectively creating a product for setting up affiliate loyalty networks.

“This agreement with Inktomi leverages Netcentives leadership position in providing the technology infrastructure to power loyalty networks,” said Netcentives chairman and chief executive West Shell.

“By aligning ourselves with Inktomi’s industry-leading commerce infrastructure, we bring to market the first complete, secure and scalable solution for merchants and portals to participate in loyalty-enabled commerce networks.”

With both firms selling the resulting combined e-commerce and loyalty/affiliate marketing product, the deal is something of a coup for both. Inktomi’s Commerce Engine platform has a high penetration in the portal market, with clients like Yahoo and iWon.com, and the company gains access to Netcentives’ e-commerce clients.

San Francisco-based Netcentives, for its part, has traditionally targeted online merchants — now it will have a cross-sold value-add for portals as well.

Foster City, Calif.,-based Inktomi also said it selected Netcentives as its preferred provider of loyalty technology and services.

“Netcentives’ leading loyalty and direct marketing technologies provide a powerful complement to the Inktomi commerce infrastructure platform,” said Inktomi commerce division general manager Kevin Brown. “By providing the industry’s definitive platform for building and monetizing customer relationships, Inktomi and Netcentives are helping customers build profitable, sustainable businesses.”

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