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BT Ignite and Citrix Bridge the Pond

BT Ignite and Citrix Systems Inc. at last week's Citrix iForum 2000 announced a global alliance to enable Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to offer customers network hosted and rented applications worldwide. The agreement will accelerate the growth of the ASP market, combining the technical expertise and global reach of BT (British Telecommunications plc) with Citrix's market leading application server software.

"This represents a ticket to Europe for American ISVs and ASPs who think its time to cross the pond," said Peter Grimes, head of products for BT Ignite Content Hosting.

Citrix MetaFrame, ICA and NFuse software will be used to install, manage and deploy a world-class portfolio of hosted ISV applications in data centers around the world. In addition, Citrix and Ignite will work in collaboration with ISVs to embed Citrix MetaFrame into applications, enabling ISVs to deliver the full richness and interactivity of Windows, UNIX and Java applications over the web without costly application rewrites.

The Citrix-Ignite relationship is designed to help ISVs and smaller ASPs develop, host and deploy applications online and enable larger independent ASPs with their own hosting infrastructures to tap into BT Ignite's ISV base and resell applications. It also means BT Ignite Application Services Group can provide a substantial application service to BT's own customer base.

BT Ignite's offering wraps up hardware, software and services to offer solutions for billing, database, and front office support. Ignite currently has 20 datacenters in 9 countries, with a 50,000-kilometer fiber network in place.

As well as potentially increasing user license sales and thus generating new and recurrent revenue streams, ISVs will benefit from the ability to rapidly deploy network hosted and rented applications to end customers. They will also gain access to a wider audience via BT Ignite's carrier class platform and application server technology from Citrix.

In August this year, BT Ignite joined the Citrix iBusiness Application Service Provider program, a global initiative which gives participants access to Citrix application server software on a pay-as-you-go basis, as well as joint marketing and sales opportunities and support services. There are currently 110 Citrix-enabled ASPs worldwide.

Grimes compared the state of the ASP industry today to the Gold Rush Era: "ISPs and ASPs are like the prospectors: some will make money, and some will not. The guy who'll certainly make money is the one who sells the picks and shovels to them. We're going to sell the picks and shovels," he said.



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