Borland Becomes ASP Through Acquisition

Delivering on a vow sworn by president and CEO Dale Fuller in July, Borland plans to branch out into the hosting business, beginning with the acquisition of ASP Bedouin, which was announced on Wednesday.

"We realized there is a hole to be filled in hosting the whole set of application development lifecycle tools," said Ted Shelton, Borland's vice president of corporate business, in Scotts Valley, Calif.

Shelton added that Borland will offer a service to help companies manage the application development lifecycle.

Analysts said that as developer team span the globe with multiple locations, they can reduce costs while speeding time to market by going to a one-stop-shop such as Borland hopes to become.

"It makes a lot of sense to offer an end-to-end solution, and most companies can't really grow that organically, so they have to do it with partnerships and acquisitions," said Knecko Burney, director of e-business infrastructure and services at market research firm Cahners In-Stat Group Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Indeed, Borland is not the first tools vendor to host its wares.

In September, Rockville, Md.-based Merant International Inc. created Merant ASaP, a service that rents tools to help developers manage, track, and communicate during the application development life cycle.

Compuware Corp. in Farmington Hills, Mich. that same month rolled out a hosted service called Point Forward that is aimed at helping companies test their Web sites.

While Merant and Compuware rolled their own service provider programs, Borland obtained its infrastructure and manpower from the Chicago-based Bedouin.

To facilitate the move into the ASP arena, Borland has created a fourth business unit: Borland Developer Services, in Chicago.

The new Borland unit will extend Bedouin's practice of building and deploying e-services, such as team coordination, time tracking, and customer relationship management, to deliver a new platform that will allow customers to build, deploy and manage applications via the Internet, according to Borland's Shelton.

Shelton added that Borland will target corporations and hosting companies as well as publish its APIs, so third-parties can write applications directly to the service.

Although Bedouin only consists of 11 employees, Cahners In-Stat's Burney said that Borland potentially can host substantial offerings based on Bedouin's infrastructure.

"The beautiful thing about hosting is that it doesn't require a whole bunch of employees to host high-end applications," she added.

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