Oracle Confirms It Plans to Work with ASPs

FRAMINGHAM (07/19/2000) - Oracle Corp. Tuesday confirmed that it's preparing to announce plans to work with third-party application service providers (ASPs) in addition to pushing its own Business OnLine hosting unit, which is currently the only vehicle users have for outsourcing the management of Oracle's business applications.

An Oracle spokeswoman said the ASP plans are due to be detailed before the end of the month. Oracle previously had declined to comment on reports that it was warming up to the idea of letting ASPs host its enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications after initially trying to funnel users exclusively to Business OnLine.

In an interview at Oracle's iDevelop 2000 conference in San Francisco this week, Mark Jarvis, senior vice president of marketing at Oracle, insisted that the plan to team with ASPs isn't an about-face on Oracle's part. "We've not changed our mind," Jarvis said. "We've been learning how the market works and what works for the market and what doesn't."

But Joshua Greenbaum, an analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting in Berkeley, Calif., said last month that Business OnLine just isn't big enough to meet all the demand for hosting services from users who are potential buyers of Oracle's applications. "Oracle had to do this or risk walking around with egg on its face for a long time," Greenbaum said.

Officials at Agilera.com Inc. in Englewood, Colo., have said that company and other ASPs recently started signing hosting agreements with Oracle under a new certification program that hasn't been officially announced yet. The Oracle spokeswoman and one from Agilera.com yesterday said the deal between the two companies is still on.

Clare Haney of the IDG News Service contributed to this article.

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