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USi Acquires CoreHarbor, Expands ISV Program

Veteran ASP USi announced Tuesday that it has acquired key assets of Ariba-focused MSP CoreHarbor. USi will enhance its Ariba practice by adding CoreHarbor's spend management, procurement, and sourcing capabilities. Terms and conditions of the transaction were not released.

"CoreHarbor is a pioneer in the development of Ariba best practices and this acquisition will add great capability to USi's Ariba business," said Andrew Stern, Chairman and CEO, USi. "The experience brought to the table by CoreHarbor will greatly benefit USi's existing Ariba clients as well as our ERP clients looking to further optimize their financial management processes."

The integration of the two companies' operations will commence immediately with hosting and management of all Ariba-based applications being consolidated within USi's existing facilities. CoreHarbor's current headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia will be retained to support customer service and sales operations.

"The combination of CoreHarbor's expertise in Enterprise Spend Management and USi's leadership in managing Ariba solutions will provide Ariba customers with a best-of-breed approach for optimizing their application performance," said Michael Schmitt, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Ariba.

USi's portfolio of service offerings delivers the functionality of software from Ariba, BroadVision, Lawson, Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and Siebel. USi's AppHost managed application hosting services provide solutions for enterprises, software companies, marketplaces, public sector clients and system integrators seeking to deliver their own software solutions over the Internet to their customers and end users.

On Wednesday, USi enhanced AppHost by expanding its Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Enablement program, which allows ISVs to sell their software through an ASP delivery channel. USi has created a more flexible architecture and has added support for joint sales opportunities. The company also announced that a number of its existing ISV clients, including Documentum, Optum, and Saba, have recently extended or renewed their contracts with USi.

"We've enhanced our ISV Enablement program with new cost and operational flexibility to provide our clients and partners -- industry-leading software developers -- with additional resources for capturing the growing interest from end-users in utility computing," Stern said. "This more flexible architecture allows ISVs to limit initial commitments to these emerging markets with the assurance that increased demand can be addressed in just hours as opposed to weeks through the use of our AppHost solution."

Supporting the program is USi's professional services organization, which helps ISVs architect their solution for mass deployment as a service, and can also assist in the development of change management processes and other best practices, including Service Level Agreements (SLA).

"In software delivery, a shift from software provided as a product to software provided as a service is occurring," said Amy Mizoras, program manager for Software Pricing, Licensing and Delivery research at IDC. "This has strong implications for software licensing, technology, and partnering. In general, ISVs are seeing software licenses shrink as a proportion of their revenue mix, forcing them to focus on software maintenance and to consider alternative delivery models to build recurring revenue. As a result, many ISVs are now looking to create a software-as-a-service delivery channel, which leverages the hosting and management expertise of a company such as an ASP. This approach enables the ISV to offer service delivery of its software while avoiding many of the infrastructure and management risks inherent in a go-it-alone approach."