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E-Biz Firms to Power ASP to SA Market

[Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA] Five of South Africa's largest e-business companies announced a partnership on Tuesday that will provide the first major application service provider (ASP) offering to the local market.

Microsoft SA, The Internet Solution, Siemens Business Services, Hewlett Packard and SAP will each contribute their expertise to the venture that will initially focus on providing services to the SME sector.

The ASP offering will allow companies to effectively 'outsource' their IT needs with specific desktop applications being hosted on a remote server maintained by the consortium partners. The applications are then transmitted to the client over the Internet only when needed, boosting memory and bandwidth on a PC that no longer needs to accommodate bulky business applications.

Each of the consortium partners will provide their specific expertise to the service offering. The ASP solution will consist of SAP's application offering combined with the hosted services launched last week by Microsoft SA. Siemens will host the solution that will run off Hewlett Packard software while bandwidth will be provided by corporate ISP, The Internet Solution.

This model will require clients to pay the consortium a monthly surcharge for application hosting, maintenance and support. Microsoft SA's Gary Hodgson explains that this offering will enable companies to reduce licensing costs, a boon for the smaller enterprises unable to pay the licensing fees typically required of the larger organizations.



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