ASP Infrastructure: The Party Has Started

  • Written By: A. Turner
  • Published: July 7 2000

ASP Infrastructure: The Party Has Started
A. Turner - July 7, 2000

Event Summary

On June 14th, Nortel Networks introduced an application service management and integration solution that will enable service providers to offer hosted eBusiness applications to businesses and deliver end-to-end applications management to the desktop.

Called the Nortel Networks Preside Managed Application Services Platform, the solution is designed to enable service providers to deliver a portfolio of secure, managed and integrated ASP offerings. It will include technology from BEA Systems, Inc., Tarantella, and iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions (a Sun-Netscape Alliance) and will be compatible with client-server technology from CiTRiX. The platform will enable management and interoperability with a number of eBusiness applications including Nortel Networks (through its Clarify eBusiness applications), solutions, i2 Technologies, Inc., and desktop productivity applications from iPlanet as well as Portal Software's Infranet billing application. Technology from EPiCON, Inc. will be integrated into the Preside Managed Application Services Platform in conjunction with Nortel Networks' acquisition of EPiCON.

The first customer release of the platform solution is expected in the next 30 to 45 days and is being tested through Innovatia. Innovatia is part of Aliant, a telecommunications and IT company.

Nortel Networks Preside Managed Application Services Platform will provide a common platform integrated with their operations support system (OSS) developed for the ASP and hosting markets. The platform will support provisioning of multiple applications, application-to-application communication to automate manual processes, and access via thin, fit and fat clients and wireless devices. This will give service providers time-to-market differentiation, the ability to streamline and scale operations with automatic and customized billing, secure provisioning of applications and performance management. Later this year, service providers will have the additional benefit of Service Level Agreement (SLA) management.

Nortel Networks has entered into strategic technology and OEM alliances with enabling software and middleware vendors including BEA Systems, Tarantella and iPlanet. Nortel Networks has integrated these technologies with its Preside directory, policy services and SLA management technology, Clarify customer relationship management software and Access Policy Manager security software.

Services which embeds iPlanet's Directory Services. BEA Systems provides a suite of products for enterprise application integration, transaction processing software and business process management capabilities. The strategic relationship with BEA Systems will enable the development of an ASP provisioning environment.

Nortel Networks will introduce a software developers program in the fourth quarter of this year to provide resources for Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to certify interoperability with the Preside Managed Application Services Platform.

Market Impact

Depending on what bulletin board you look at, or what industry analyst you speak with, the estimates on the ASP market are in the billions. By 2003, analysts are predicting an Application Service Provider market anywhere from 4 to 20 billion. E-commerce estimates are the same, if not higher.

With industry pundits forecasting green fields and sunshine for the Application Service Providers, it is not surprising companies are creating support solutions designed specifically for ASP's. Nortel joins a party in full swing. AT&T, MCI, and Lucent have all launched similar efforts. (For more information, see the links to our related articles at the conclusion of this document.) As stated in previous articles, this is great news for Application Service Providers. Since the ASP market is relatively nascent, the plethora of infrastructure support options provides an attractive mix of choices.

User Recommendations

Nortel Network's Preside Managed Application Services Platform is attractive. However, ASP's should consider all options. We recommend identifying your unique needs and comparison shopping. Perhaps exploring existing business relationships with Nortel, or another provider, may provide negotiating leverage. While selecting an infrastructure partner is challenging, the positive news is there are more companies competing for your dollars.

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