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IDA, Sun, NTU Launch ASP Center

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Sun Microsystems have launched an ASP Center to enable infrastructure and service providers to pilot their offerings.

Located at the NTU Innovation Center, the newly opened ASP Center operates on the basis of partnerships with industry players to provide an environment for ASP incubation and research. Its list of technology partners includes Oracle, Cisco, End-To-End, Ecquaria, iPlanet, i-STT, Software AG and BMC.

"The ASP Center will further Singapore's aim of having a conducive Infocomm environment that fosters innovation in the provision of IT services, and attracts technology innovators from around the world," said Khoong Hock Yun, IDA's assistant chief executive of Infocomm Development.

Sun Microsystems has also appointed the ASP Center as auditor for its SunTone certification and branding program in the Asia South region. SunTone identifies and certifies suppliers who meet defined standards for providing quality, outsourced Web-enabled services and applications, enabling them to compete globally. There are about 90 SunTone certified suppliers globally and in Singapore, several Internet data centers (IDCs) will soon receive certification, according to Sun.

The ASP Center will provide:
* ASP incubation services for local industry to develop innovative ASP services

* Business and technical consultancy to equip local industry to deliver quality ASP services

* Consulting and auditing for Sun Microsystems' SunTone Service Level certification program

* Environment and resources for research to explore new technologies and capabilities for ASPs

* Scholarships for students to develop skilled manpower in technologies needed by ASPs; students will undertake research projects at the ASP Center as part of their curriculum

* Expansion of its services to the regional and global markets


The opening of the ASP Center is an extension of Sun's Java Tarik programs, which the IT vendor and the IDA have implemented over the past three years to develop local enterprises into exporters of IT and communication products and services.

The Java Tarik programs comprise the Java Resource Center, Asia Java Venture Fund, Java Manpower Development program, the Infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Program (iLIUP) and the recently established Java Wireless Competency Center (JWCC) under the IDAs Wired for Wireless program.

As part of the Java Tarik initiative, Sun will also support ASPs with the Sun Go-To-Market (GTM) program, which includes bundling of services with IDCs, Sun hardware and ASP solutions, exhibitions, conferences, end-user education via SME academy and reseller training programs.

"Application service provision is a key mechanism to bring IT services to the next paradigm where enterprises can access application at a competitive price. This competency center is a center of excellence for ASP process and methodology," said Lionel Lim, co-chairman of the ASP Centre, and vice-president and managing director of Sun Microsystems in Asia South.

"By transfering skills and technology, Sun is helping to build a conducive environment that will nurture innovation and spur technological entrepreneurship," he added.