Oracle has launched its iHost initiative in an attempt to encourage Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and ISVs to use its technology as the basis for transmuting themselves into Application Service Providers (ASPs).
The scheme dovetails into Oracle’s Business Online programme, whereby Oracle acts as the ASP and enables companies to access its applications and approved third party packages remotely over the Internet from a site hosted by partners such as Qwest.
Oracle has already signed up 20 customers including Robert Mondave and Triton Network Systems and is targeting the programme mainly at medium sized organisations. Four users have already gone live.
Mark Jarvis, Oracle’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said: “Oracle is providing the picks and shovels and providing the technology foundation for the Internet goldrush. The goldminers in the original goldrush had big dreams, but it was the people who sold the picks and shovels that really made the money. We’ll let the present day goldminers find out if they are a success or failure, but we’ll provide them with the tools to do it.”
He continued: “There will be a number of phases to this. Today, we’re trying to get ISVs to build hostable applications and the next step will be certifying those applications so they can host them themselves. Whether they do do it themselves or with an ISP is up to them, but Oracle will sell database licenses to the ASP, get host applications from ISVs and they will charge customers what they want to access them.”
He estimated that within five years, Oracle would generate about 50 per cent of its revenues from hosted licenses rather than those sold directly or indirectly to users, and claimed that the same would apply to other ISVs both in the consumer and business markets.
As a result, to try and exploit this embyonic market, the supplier is packaging up a range of offerings to create the socalled Oracle Internet Platform Hosting Edition bundle and will start shipment in 60 days. This will include the Enterprise Edition of the Oracle 8i database, Appliction Server, Internet Directory, Advanced Security and Enterprise Manager.
The firm has also expanded its partner programmes to make them more relevant to developers wanting to build hostable packages.
The Oracle Product Certification Program will now enable programmers to “ecertify” their applications after compliance testing against the Oracle Internet Platform by Veritest, while the Oracle Partner Program will add an Application Hosting subsection for support purposes.
The Oracle Technical Network (OTN) developer Web site will include new software and technical content for ISPs, ISVs and ASPs and provide a new technical support forum. And a new OTN for Partners subsection will provide ISPs and ISVs with an online matchmaking service to share contact information and help them form possible future partnerships.
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