Ellacoya Networks Inc. is setting up a partner program to help service providers move up the food chain, from delivering simple network-access services to selling access to applications and carrier-based storage.
The Technology Alliance Program (TAP) will bring together service pro.viders such as ISPs, for example, together with content providers, such as ASPs, so the ISPs can offer application services to their customers.
In addition, Ellacoya is introducing Apprise Application and Content Syndicate, a group of content providers whose networks are integrated with Ellacoya gear to make it easier for providers to link this content to access networks.
The idea is to introduce potential business partners, then supply the technology they need to jointly deliver services to customers. TAP and Apprise should help providers create and deliver this type of service faster than they would otherwise, says Ron Sege, Ellacoya's president and CEO.
In order to deliver these services, providers need to tie their networks together for billing purposes, and this can be complicated. "We can tell them how to get their back-end equipment to talk to each other that never talked before," Sege says.
The first two TAP members are AP Engines and Portal Software. AP Engines makes software that links service provider networks so they can share usage and billing information without disrupting their existing operations support systems. Portal Software makes customer-management and billing software for service providers.
Ellacoya has not announced its Apprise partners.
These products would supplement Ellacoya's SGS 6000 and SGS 44000 service-generation switches. These switches sit between service provider access networks and the resources of other service providers, such as application servers or storage arrays. Ellacoya also sells software that enables providers to create templates for managing services. The software enables customers to provision or monitor their own services.
When customers call for a service, the SGS switches consult directories of customer service profiles. If the customer is signed up for the requested service, the switch makes the connection.