Nortel Unveils Management Software for ASPs

BOSTON (06/14/2000) - With an eye on expanding its presence in the services market, network equipment giant Nortel Networks announced plans today to offer a new set of software that's aimed at helping application service providers (ASP) remotely manage PCs and applications over the Web.

To bolster that offering, the Brampton, Ontario-based networking vendor has acquired Epicon Inc., a Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based software provider to the ASP market.

Under a new service offering called Preside Managed Applications Services Platform, Nortel will offer a software package that's intended to provide ASPs with a common platform for managing their operations. Nortel began offering network and infrastructure management services in December.

Epicon, which Nortel plans to acquire for $275 million in stock, develops Altis, an application delivery and management application suite targeted at ASPs.

Nortel executives said it will make Epicon's application management product, which monitors and tracks application usage on a range of applications, available to partner ASPs.

"The Internet is the key component here and the change agent, which changes the way we think about applications and desktops," said Jack Sweeney, Epicon's CEO, in a teleconference today. "The fact that everyone's desktop is so volatile and everyone's desktop is so different, we had to create some technology that allowed us to monitor the desktop and its configurations and communicate from the desktop to the server."

Nortel also announced deals to OEM technology from BEA Systems Inc. in San Jose, iPlanet in Mountain View, Calif., The Santa Cruz Operation Inc.'s Tarantella division in Santa Cruz, California, and Citrix Systems Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Nortel will develop applications for its Preside Managed Applications Services Platform with these vendors.

Nortel, which posted $21.3 billion in revenue last year, said it had tested Epicon's management application on more than 1,000 customer desktops.

Stamford, Connecticut-based market research firm Gartner Group Inc. expects the ASP market will grow to $23 billion by 2003 from $900 million in 1998.

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