Oracle and Telstra are tipped to partner in an ASP (application service provider) deal that will be the largest in the Asia-Pacific region.
Telstra executives were meeting with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in the US last week, ostensibly to talk about Web TV. But insiders at Oracle Openworld in Brisbane last week said an ASP deal is as close as two weeks, though several months were seen as more likely.
In Europe recently, Ellison, who has been pushing the ASP bandwagon for more than a year, spoke of an impending large deal with a major Australian telco, which Telstra denied.
And Oracle marketers at Openworld were certainly reinforcing the ASP message as the vendor positioned itself strongly in the e-commerce space.
The implications for Oracle are worldwide because the vendor has no strong alliance with the major telecommunications groupings. Telstra, on the other hand, is closely tied to Concert, the AT&T-BT partnership that grew out of World Partners when it was dissolved.
Telecom New Zealand is most likely to form links with Concert's opposition, MCI-Worldcom, which has a strategic relationship with EDS, to whom Telecom has outsourced its IT.