UK based telco Cable & Wireless (C&W) has teamed up with Compaq and Microsoft to offer hosted applications to small and medium-sized companies.
Services will initially be rolled out in the UK and US next month, with markets in the rest of Europe and Asia to go live next year.
C&W will begin hosting Microsoft desktop applications, such as Office 2000 and Exchange, but will eventually offer datacentre software, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other corporate packages. The applications will be run on Compaq hardware, and the systems company is also providing its professional services to C&W customers.
Stuart Keeping, vice president of marketing at the carrier's applications business unit, said: "Other application service providers take a web based applications approach, but we will offer small and medium-sized businesses the ability to move from desktop to ERP-type applications, and build platforms based on IP networks and Compaq systems."
He claimed that C&W was not concerned about embarking on such a partnership with a company that is about to be split into two, saying that C&W had identified Microsoft as offering the strongest range of applications for its customers.
C&W also expects to offer hosted applications for mobile devices such as the Compaq iPaq Pocket PC. Such applications include tools for sales force automation, financial accounting and human resource management.
Customers will be charged on a monthly per-seat basis and the cost includes software upgrades, security, training, customer support, data storage and backup.
This announcement follows last November's agreement by Compaq and C&W to pump a total of $500m into developing and deploying global ebusiness services.
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