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Corio Adds (i)Structure as Hosting Partner

Leading enterprise ASP Corio Inc has appointed a recent entrant to the application infrastructure provider (AIP) market as its third data center partner, alongside existing partners Exodus Communications Inc and XO Communications .

Corio has contracted (i)Structure (formerly PKSIS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Level(3) Communications Inc , for data center capabilities in Tempe, Arizona. Corio's director of operations Steve Zins confirmed the news to ASPnews this week, adding that the company intends to issue a formal press release regarding the relationship as soon as next week.

Corio officials told ASPnews that its relationship with (i)Structure does not affect its partnerships with Exodus or XO, and Corio will continue to use their facilities as well. "Corio has adopted a multiple supplier strategy. We added an additional partner to meet our expanding needs for capacity and to optimize our economics," said Richard Hillebrecht, Corio's VP of operations.

Bob Newman, VP of infrastructure at (i)Structure told ASPnews that (i)Structure and Corio hold the same vision of a shared computing infrastructure and a lower cost computing environment.

"Our vision is to move to a utility-based price model to optimize prices," Newman told ASPnews. According to Newman, Corio chose (i)Structure based on the quality of (i)Structure's staff as well as its AIP focus. An AIP provides specialized application hosting services to ASPs and enterprises. Newman said he believes the partnership will ultimately benefit customers through higher availability and lower costs.

Feliz Fuentes, a spokesperson for Corio, said the partnership reinforces Corio's ASP strategy. "(i)Structure demonstrated high standards and process maturity in their facilities", he told ASPnews, "as well as having significant security, back-up and contingency assurances." Another important factor was (i)Structure's relationship with colocation specialist Level(3) Communications, of which it is a subsidiary. Corio rigorously evaluated several data center providers before choosing (i)Structure.

Another draw for Corio was that (i)Structure's Tempe location provides a core data center facility away from natural disaster-prone areas of the country. The Tempe/Phoenix area is an increasingly popular location for major data centers for large US companies including American Express, Motorola, Schwab, DHL, Intel, and Avnet.

"[Corio's] VP of Operations Jeff Lucchesi executed this exact strategy for his previous company (DHL)," Zins told ASPnews. "Besides very favorable real estate costs compared to the [San Francisco] Bay area, there is an excellent human resource pool of talent to draw from because of the presence of other large companies. Salary expense is also very favorable compared to the Bay area. Finally, quality of life is good in the Phoenix area, taking into account affordability, climate and business environment."

Founded in 1998 by Jonathan Lee, Corio provides its customers a full suite of integrated, best-of-breed business applications and services for a monthly fee. The applications are hosted in third-party data centres, managed 24 hours a day by Corio staff, and delivered to customers over a secure network.

(i)Structure, originally founded in 1987 as PKSIS, is now heavily focused on infrastructure services, with 650 employees. (i)Structure recently announced a contract with PFN Inc, a network communications company based in Cambridge MA, and Newman told ASPnews that the company currently has three further hosting partnerships in the pipeline that are near closing.