Dell Joins ASP Pack

Dell Computer Corp. broadened its reach into the ASP (application service provider) arena Tuesday, announcing a pact with Xevo Corp. and Portal Software Inc. to deliver infrastructure technology to the ASP market, here at the Microsoft Exchange Conference.

The three companies will collaborate on solutions featuring Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange 2000, using Portal Software's Infranet customer care and billing software along with Xevo's service management technology. The systems will run on Dell's PowerEdge servers and PowerVault storage products.

"ASPs need this infrastructure," said Martin Slatnick, director of Dell's Service Provider Solutions group. "Some of them build it themselves, but many others don't, because they need to focus on their core business."

Portal Software will integrate its Infranet software with Exchange 2000, according to Tom Haddock, senior alliance manager at the Cupertino, Calif. Company.

Marlboro, Mass.-based Xevo's ASP Workbench is intended to help ASPs deliver over the Internet application services that can scale rapidly. ASP Workbench will act as the glue between Dell's systems, Portal Software's CRM (customer relationship management) software, and Microsoft applications, said Craig Conrad, director of marketing communications.

The three companies will collaborate at Dell's Round Rock, Texas headquarters, and Dell engineers will get a crash course in Xevo and Portal Software technologies. The companies also will undertake "go-to-market and co-selling activities," Slatnick said.

Dell, which made its first splash in the ASP market in February, will begin an ad campaign this week to emphasize its Service Provider Direct program, Slatnick said. In the past two weeks, about 200 companies have signed up, he said.

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