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Andersen Consulting and Jamcracker Join Forces

Andersen Consulting and Jamcracker Inc. today announced they have forged a partnership that includes a go-to-market alliance as well as a significant investment by AC Ventures, the venture capital unit of Andersen Consulting, which has taken an equity stake in Jamcracker. In addition, Jamcracker has become a client of Andersen Consulting.

As part of the alliance, Andersen Consulting will collaborate with Jamcracker -- which aggregates IT and business applications and services from various providers into a single web-based platform -- to develop a new service that will integrate functions ranging from billing and sales force automation to human resource management.

"Netsourcing is fundamentally expanding the capabilities of an organization," K.B. Chandrasekhar, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Jamcracker, told ASP News. "It's not about reproducing what you have, but about expanding into new areas and being able to leverage the use of the Net."

Andersen Consulting will bring to the table access to its worldwide network of clients, an understanding of what those clients need, and the capability to define appropriate solutions and tie them in with existing technology, James Hall, global managing partner for technology business solutions, Andersen Consulting, told ASP News.

Initially, Andersen Consulting and Jamcracker will focus on the U.S. market with the intention of expanding rapidly to Europe, Asia and other regions. "The way that the netsourcing market is emerging, the first-movers are primarily in the US," Hall said. "Asia is probably 9 to 12 months behind Europe, and Europe is poised to take off now."

In the US, Hall sees the netsourcing arena heating up, with larger organizations ready to make moves out of experimental phases and into operational modes, he said. "We're convinced the Jamcracker construct has broad applicability. In a recent tour of our partner offices, we saw enormous interest from larger corporations," Hall said.

Andersen Consulting has developed this alliance as part of a broader strategy for enabling the delivery of netsourced solutions to their clients. Andersen Consulting will help expand Jamcracker's solution by enhancing the company's delivery and support capabilities and providing a business channel to the Global 1000 market. Additionally, the two firms will work together to expand the portfolio of ASPs available through Jamcracker's service delivery platform, Hall explained in a press conference today.

This will likely include future ASP offerings developed by Andersen Consulting and other alliance partners. Jamcracker currently offers more than 20 services through Jamcracker Central, with 25 to 30 by the end of the year, Chandrasekhar said. In addition, Andersen Consulting will be moving to the Jamcracker platform most of their proprietary applications currently offered in an ASP model and several that are in various stages of development, Hall said.

Jamcracker's current customers use an average of 3 applications on the Jamcracker platform, with some using 9 and many in the 4 to 6 application range, Chandrasekhar said. Most begin with email and then soon add on other services within the first 90 days, he said.

The applications that Jamcracker will need to add in order to address the needs of larger enterprises will likely start with front office applications like CRM, as well as marketplace and procurement solutions, Hall said. Andersen Consulting will also assist Jamcracker in expanding its platform to meet the increased demand, which won't be a problem for Jamcracker, Chandrasekhar insists.

"Over 25 percent of our company is engineering and development, and our technology is completely scalable," Chandrasekhar said.

Read an exclusive profile of Jamcrac



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