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Oracle Opens Enterprise Apps to ASPs

In a major about-face from its previous stance, Oracle today announced the creation of an ASP channel for its enterprise applications, amidst a significant broadening of its ASP strategy.

Oracle has extended its iHost initiative with a new category of provider called Oracle Authorized Application Providers. OOAPs are an elite group — approved directly by Oracle's executive committee — who are authorized to develop and sell value-added services based on the vendor's core E-Business Suite of enterprise applications.

The inaugural list of OOAPs, unveiled today, is made up of leading names from the ASP and IT services industry as well as several high-profile startups. They include Agilera, BlueMeteor, Center 7, GlobalCenter, Hostcentric, Interliant Inc, Nupremis, Sallie Mae Solutions and Winstar.

OOAPs must follow strict implementation and operational guidelines developed by Oracle through its experience of hosting its own applicatoions through Oracle Business OnLine (BOL), its own ASP division. BOL, which today announced it has signed over 100 customers for its services, will continue to offer packaged implementations of Oracle applications, but it will no longer be the only authorized supplier.

Now Oracle will help its partners to develop their own product offerings around the E-Business Suite, providing integration with legacy and custom-developed systems, or drawing on expertise in business processes or vertical industries such as state and local governments and higher education.

"The demand for our Internet-based E-Business Suite of business applications has been tremendous," said Oracle EVP Gary Bloom. "Our expanded iHost initiative gives us another distribution outlet that provides value-added services for our E-Business Suite of applications in hosted environments. What's more, this initiative creates a tremendous opportunity for our partners, who can leverage what we've learned as the leading provider of online business services over the last eighteen months — and the pioneer in the field."

The new strategy overturns the stance adopted by Oracle founder and CEO last October at the global launch of BOL, when he had said that Oracle would sell its applications to other ASPs "over my dead body." See related ASPnews.com story, Oracle BOL spreads its wings, Oct 7th 1999.