Plans to use application service providers (ASP) to implement electronic-business applications are "virtually nonexistent" among Oracle's enterprise network users, according to a survey. The company claims, however, that its ASP initiatives have attracted the interest of thousands of users.
The survey, conducted by Boston-based consultancy Aberdeen Group (US), was commissioned by the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) at its North American Spring Conference in Philadelphia in April. Of OAUG's 2,200 member companies, 1,024 participated in the survey.
For starters, these large users don't know enough about just how ASPs work to sign on with them, according to a statement jointly issued by the OAUG and Aberdeen.
Respondents also indicated that they're worried about not being able to directly control the applications, and they don't want to sacrifice the investment they have already made in their in-house Oracle software.
Oracle rents its applications directly through its Business OnLine hosting service and through ASP partners. An Oracle spokesperson said Business OnLine already has about 100 business customers of all sizes. It also continues to sign up ASPs, such as Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Amdahl Corp., which will offer a variety of Oracle wares, including its enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications.
Nevertheless, OAUG members are typically large enterprises that have concerns about security and don't want to open up their enterprises to outsiders, said Mark Linton, an OAUG board member. While there is some appeal to using ASPs, it wouldn't be for transactional or other key types of applications, said Linton.
But the OAUG members aren't just singling out Oracle, said Don Payne, the organization's executive vice president.
"At OAUG, the companies are still trying to determine what their core competencies are and what outsourcing brings to the table," Payne said. "In general, IT professionals are expressing frustration at the services they already receive from vendors and suppliers and are not anxious to add another dimension to an already complex environment."
On the other hand, while OAUG members say they don't think ASPS are a "viable strategy" to reduce costs, they do think ASPs can cut down on staffing burdens, according to the report.