Local clientele hands over apps to PwC

PricewaterhouseCoopers has secured a place in what is predicted to be a multibillion dollar applications outsourcing market, signing up its first round of local clientele.

Rhone Poulenc, Bank of Queensland, Bayer, Ericsson and Acacia Mining are the first clients to outsource applications support to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)'s new solutions delivery centre in Melbourne.

While initial clients have outsourced SAP operations to PwC, the centre also supports a range of other vendors' applications including JD Edwards, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Siebel, according to Chris Bennett, enterprise resource planning leader at PwC Asia Pacific.

PwC remotely manages or hosts its clients' applications and hardware at the centre to which each client is linked via dedicated ISDN connections.

Applications support contracts, including service-level agreements, differ from client to client, but "basic pricing will range from $100 to $200 per (end) user per month" including technical support, development, training and full help desk services, Bennett said.

PwC aims for the Melbourne centre to sign about 20 clients by the end of 2000 and has opened a similar centre in Singapore.

Meanwhile, Bennett revealed PwC is negotiating with an internet service provider to provide bandwidth for its soon-to-be-launched application service provision (ASP) initiative.

Australian ASP clients will have internet access to appli-cations hosted in the Melbourne centre via a portal-style interface.

The news follows PwC's international alliance with Intel, announced last month, in which the two organisations have agreed to deploy integrated e-commerce solution development and hosting capabilities through Intel's internet service centres around the globe.

IDC predicts the apps outsourcing market will reach $US16 billion worldwide within four years.

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