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Apptix Expands On-Demand Service Management Platform

Some companies are happy to operate behind the scenes. Apptix is one of them. The Sterling, Va.-based private-label ASP has enjoyed success providing hosted Microsoft Exchange to service providers who resell it to their customers.

At the heart of Apptix service is its TECOS application management software, which is designed to make it easier for xSPs to offer software as an on-demand service through automation and self-provisioning. Apptix today announced it is expanding its services with the release of TECOS 4.0.

The goal of TECOS 4.0 is to help service providers generate more revenue by offering a wider range of Microsoft applications in an on-demand, scalable architecture. "Service providers need more revenue and they need to generate it through highly automated services on shared infrastructure," Apptix CEO Alex Hawkinson told ASPnews.

The new version of software focuses on three areas: infrastructure applications (such as Microsoft Exchange). "We see messaging as infrastructure," Hawkinson said. Apptix will also focus on what it calls advanced applications (e.g. Microsoft CRM). The third area is business security, which includes antivirus software. Hawkinson wouldn't comment on what specific applications would be offered by Apptix. To date, Apptix has worked exclusively with Microsoft. However, as the company broadens its offerings to include security, Apptix is expected to announce additional application partners.

Apptix is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Hosting and Application Services and TECOS 4.0 is designed to support multiple .Net applications and Web services deployed across shared, dedicated, and customer premises environments, Apptix said. This capability allows xSPs to manage several locations with one instance of TECOS, making it easer to roll out new and updated features.

TECOS 4.0 is built on Microsoft .NET technologies, such as C#, ASP.NET and ADO.NET, Apptix reports, which is designed to allow service providers to more easily deliver and manage Microsoft applications as well provide a simpler connection of disparate systems. Standards-based APIs (application programming interfaces) and software developer kits (SDKs), Hawkinson said, also make it easier for service providers integrate and customize additional applications. "They can tear off the interface work with Web service."

TECOS 4.0 is designed to integrate with the Microsoft Provisioning System (MPS), a standardized approach for configuring Microsoft-based service elements. Apptix said that TECOS is layered on top of MPS, which allows providers to use TECOS as the sole service management solution for Microsoft applications.

"Apptix' strong ties with the Microsoft Provisioning System make TECOS 4.0 flexible in supporting multiple Microsoft applications across multiple environments," said Pascal Martin, general manager, Platform and Application Hosting at Microsoft Corp. "As Microsoft continues to add MPS support for new applications, TECOS will be positioned to manage and deliver these applications as a software-based service."

The new version is also designed to deliver back-office integration with service providers' operations support systems (OSS) and business processes (BSS). For example, using SOAP and XML, TECOS offers Web-services for integration with billing, order management and customer care systems.

Apptix claims that service providers can have Microsoft Exchange 2000 and other .NET applications up and running in as little as 30 days. Current customers include HP Managed Services, XO and Digex.

Apptix is listed by ASPnews as a Top 20 Service Enabler.

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