RealTime IT News

Hostcentric Paves Path to ASP Perfecta

Dot-com companies that need to hedge their bets on deploying successful e-commerce Web sites may want to take a moment to review a new player in the market.

Since its inception early in May, Hostcentric Inc. has managed to transform the privately-held Web hosting firm into one of the top application management and e-commerce solutions providers in the nation.

California-based Alldomains.com Inc. and Maxim Computer Systems Corp. joined New York-based NSI Web Design and Virtualscape, Inc. in a merger with Web2010 of Orlando, FL. The five-of-a-kind firm unified its middle-market Web hosting services under the Hostcentric brand name.

Hostcentric is currently home to more than 44,500 Web sites for about 19,000 customers over its network comprised of more than 600 dedicated and 390 collocated servers.

Hostcentric quickly became one of the first companies certified by Oracle Corp. to provide hosting solutions for its applications. Hostcentric's certification allowed the firm to serve up Oracle's much hyped e-business offering known as 11i, the industry's first fully integrated e-business applications suite.

As an application service provider, Hostcentric this week become part of an elite business core operating under the umbrella of Oracle's Authorized Application Provider program. The tag allows Hostcentric to offer an array of Oracle applications, in addition to its 11i suite.

Fred Pounds, Hostcentric chief executive officer, said Oracle's ratification of the Hostcentric's ASP portfolio marks a turning point for the firm.

"We believe that Oracle's revolutionary, Web-enabled product will provide our customers with the same back- office functionality and solutions that traditionally only larger companies could implement," Pounds said.

Scott Eleguin, Oracle practice development manager, said Hostcentric is the most requested Oracle reference that its customers ask to speak with.

"Hostcentric is the only Oracle Authorized Application Provider that is implementing the e-business suite 11i internally," Eleguin said. "Its services are in demand."

Doug Allen, Hostcentric, chief information officer, said that due to its recent amalgamation of Web hosting firms, Hostcentric needed a customer relationship management solution that could integrate operations from of the five founding firms.

According to Allen, Oracle's CRM suite smoothes out the kinks in operations by giving Hostcentric a complete view of its customers' rented software configurations as well as histories of their service requests.

"By consolidating all customer information into a single system, Hostcentric will be able to service their customers more efficiently," Allen said. "It makes customer information instantly available at every point of contact, whether it is with an account representative in a local office or when a customer calls into the 24x7 tech support center for assistance."

Additionally, Oracle service provides Hostcentric with the ability to create a single control panel where both employees and customers can go to view and manage account information and requests for technical support. Allen said Hostcentric's Oracle call center package should be live by October.

"Hostcentric is well ahead of the learning curve, since we've been in the implementation of numerous 11i applications for the past three months," Allen said.

According to IDC, revenues for Web hosting services will grow from $1.8 billion in 1999 to $18.9 billion in 2003.

Forrester Research forecasts that application service hosting revenues will surge from $933 million in 1999 to more than $11.3 billion by 2003.

By obtaining Oracle