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Encanto Launches Rent-an-App Portal

Encanto Networks, Inc., made a grab for market share with the launch of its RentableApps Web-based applications portal on Monday (Jul 24th).

Encanto touts the applications to small- to medium-sized businesses. Providing functions such as collaboration, surveys, auctions, customer research, warranties and RFQ (request for quotation), they can be rented short-term for a monthly subscription.

"RentableApps fill a market need for those businesses, with or without Web sites, that would like to take advantage of the Internet as a platform for a variety of one-shot business needs, but want to avoid the cost or hassle of doing it all in-house," said Madison Laird, Encanto's VP of business applications and services.

"For small and mid-sized businesses looking to handle a quick-turnaround project, or grow rapidly online, renting such capabilities only as needed makes great sense. RentableApps make it possible for small businesses to take advantage of powerful software applications traditionally reserved for larger companies," he explained.

Rather than developing its own applications, Encanto hosts software from vendors such as Lotus Development Corp and Iemagine, Inc. The technology for its hosting service is based on Domino Instant Host, the application hosting platform developed by IBM Corp subsidiary Lotus.

The Encanto service echoes the AppsOnLine application rental portal launched in Sep 1998 by Interliant, Inc, which co-developed Domino Instant Host with Lotus. See related ASPnews.com story, Interliant site offers instant online rental, Sep 23rd 1998.

Eric Klein, The Yankee Group senior analyst, said applications-for-rent is a market gaining momentum in the application services provider community and the combination of strong venture funding and market acceptance will accelerate that growth.

"The rentable application market just started percolating last year in the small business community; with the enterprise model, it been going on longer," Klein said. "It's in such an early stage of development, ASPs are still trying to figure out how it's going to work. A significant amount of venture capital has been going into these startup companies, and it's just a matter of time for the market to learn how it works."

With more than eight million small businesses throughout the world, Klein said, it's a very diverse market to capture.

Santa Clara CA-based Encanto, founded in 1996, was an early developer of Internet appliances and e-business software for small businesses. The highly experienced management team includes former Novell CEO Bob Frankenberg, who has led the company since joining in June 1997.



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