Oracle Adds Carriers and Integrators to its ASP Channel

Oracle Corp added network service providers and systems integrators to its online software channel today with the launch of two new partner schemes. The partners will help Oracle deliver its software as an ASP.

Sprint Corp and Genuity Inc became Oracle’s first Authorized Network Providers. Their role will be to provide network connectivity services at a fixed price for customers accessing Oracle-hosted applications. Oracle is recruiting additional providers to join the program.

Eleven integrators were named as charter members of the Authorized Implementation Partner scheme. They range from regional providers such as US west coast companies Millennia Vision and Parker Management Consultants, to leading global firms including Arthur Andersen, CSC, Deloitte Consulting, Grant Thornton and KPMG.

Implementation partners are trained and certified to provide consulting and implementation services for customers who sign up for Oracle’s hosted application services.

But Oracle will remain in direct control of the customer relationship as supplier of the online applications. In an exclusive interview with ASPnews, Timothy Chou, president of Oracle’s ASP operation, Business OnLine, predicted that ASPs who did not own their own software would be crippled by support costs. “The IT outsourcer has no economic advantage,” he said. See related article on, A Quarter of Oracle Sales This Year Could Be ASP.

Oracle established its ASP operation, Business OnLine, two years ago. It initially used its own in-house consultants for implementation. The new partner schemes allow customers to choose third-party alternatives to Oracle’s own consulting or network arrangements.

“Each of these new partners have met Oracle’s high standards and are focused on delivering Oracle’s essential, e-business software online, helping Oracle deliver complete, simple and fast solutions to companies of all sizes,” said Chou. “This online delivery of business services is the future of the software industry and Oracle is leading the charge.”

Chou also told ASPnews that online applications could account for as much as a quarter of Oracle’s US sales this year. The proportion is much higher than rival vendors are reporting.

Oracle’s application service provider (ASP) offering aims to provide all the needed products and services for a complete online business service. It hosts a range of enterprise applications, from financials to human resources, on its own reliable IT infrastructure, leaving customers free to focus on their core business.

The new partners will receive online implementation guidelines and technical support, specifically designed to help them promote the vision of Oracle’s online business software services.

“Many of our customers are looking for online delivery of e-business applications and finding this to be a viable option for developing and maintaining their IT infrastructure,” said Dan Andrea, national director of Oracle Solutions for Grant Thornton LLP. “We’ve partnered with Oracle to deliver high quality online services to our customers, allowing them to focus on their core business operations.”

“Partnering with Internet leaders like Oracle is critical to ensure that our customers receive world class e-business solutions combining best-in-class software and services,” said Patrick Smith, VP Technology Planning and Integration, Sprint. “Our combined efforts also ensure [our] joint customers [receive] world-class implementation, education, service and support.”

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