Lotus, Not Microsoft, on ASP Telstra's NZ Menu

AUCKLAND (04/20/2000) - New Zealand customers wanting to use Telstra Corp.'s application service provider (ASP) can access Lotus Development Corp. applications but not Microsoft Corp. software.

In a worldwide initiative the Australian telco is running an ASP trial offering products from both companies, but the Microsoft service is restricted to Australia.

Line of business manager for Telstra eWorks Rohan MacMahon says the decision to confine the trial was made by Microsoft's corporate office in the U.S.

"It's a worldwide trial and it's up to Microsoft whether they want to take it further."

However New Zealand business users can access Lotus applications on the telco's Sydney-based ASP platform.

"Whether we can make the economics of this work is another matter," says MacMahon.

The applications on trial are Lotus collaborative software Quickplace, Sametime and Learningspace. Smartsuite will also be offered once the platform is ready.

All applications run on Citrix MetaFrame and need the Citrix thin client at the user end. Eventually many applications offered will be accessible via browser only.

MacMahon expects Telstra will sell "a few hundred licenses" each for both brands with the ASP trial.

"We have somewhere in the region of hundreds in terms of number of users."

MacMahon says the ASP access model suits medium-sized businesses with an average of 100 employees.

"In some cases it will work for businesses that are smaller."

Telstra is also working on an ASP initiative with Australian business systems supplier Solution 6, in which it has a 24 percent stake.

Solution 6, which has an office in New Zealand, is offering the ERP-suite SAP via the ASP model in Australia and has plans to do the same here.

Telstra is also working with SAP in both New Zealand and Australia, providing the network infrastructure for SAP's MySAP electronic market place.

In New Zealand SAP will be announcing its first products and suppliers next week.

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