Frontier to detail extension of app hosting

Frontier Communications at the NetWorld+Interop conference in Las Vegas this week will detail offerings that would enable users to offload e-mail and messaging applications, and potentially even ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems to the telecom services provider.

Frontier, which provides large-scale Web hosting and application co-location services, plans to offer the outsourcing services as features of a new IP application strategy, according to Paul Santinelli, vice president of technology and applications at Frontier.

The initial application will be carrier-class e-mail and messaging services, in which companies can contract with Frontier to provide an e-mail system that will cost 75 percent less than Internet mail systems, Santinelli said. The client-agnostic service will support clients ranging from Eudora to Outlook to standard Web browsers, he said.

The e-mail services are due to be ready this fall at a range of $US60 to $150 per year per user, Santinelli said.

Santinelli said corporations now pay between $250 to $4,000 per year per user for in-house LAN mail, depending on which system they use.

Frontier's mail services would be offered in tiers, with the first tier being Post Office Protocol (POP) mail, followed by a mail service for small to midsize businesses that would support spam blocking and mail forwarding.

The third tier supports POP and Internet Messaging Access Protocol mail, as well as scheduling, paging, virus scanning, Secure MIME attachments, and other features, according to Frontier.

The mail services extend the company's provision of network connectivity, IP services, and hosting, said.

"We're just adding an applications layer," Santinelli said.

Outsourcing of ERP applications as part of the mix will be possible in perhaps 18 to 20 months, Santinelli said.

Frontier's IP strategy is based on the company's capability to integrate IP-based data and voice applications on a common platform, according to the company.

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