Software supplier PeopleSoft took the wraps off its application service provider (ASP) strategy today when it unveiled a new ASP division.
The move follows rival SAP's decision to launch a separate ASP applications hosting company earlier this month.
The division, called PeopleSoft eCenter, will be headed by former Oracle executive Deepak Gupta, who joined the applications supplier some five months ago. Gupta said the unit would provide users with secure and easy access to both front and back-office applications, while offering single vendor accountability.
"We want customers, not hostages," he said. "We allow customers to walk away from our service after 18 months. We want them to stay because they are happy with the service, not because we hold them hostage."
PeopleSoft's 18-month contract is half what most vendors' typically request, said Gupta. The scheme is now available in the US, but will be rolled out globally over the next year.
The company currently provides users with access to back-office applications such as PeopleSoft's Human Resource System, Financial Management and eProcurement packages for sell-side ecommerce.
But by the second half of this year, PeopleSoft will also start hosting its eStore, customer relationship management, business intelligence software and vertical applications for government and higher education.
The company also announced that it had signed a number of partners to support the initiative. These include infrastructure, service and implementation skills providers.
Infrastructure partners include Cisco, Exodus, Sun Microsystems and MCI WorldCom, while service partners include Arthur Andersen, Deloitte Consulting, IBM Global Services and KPMG.
Implementation providers include BrightStar Information Technology Group, Ballantyne Computer Service, Cotelligent and the Hunter Group.
Rita Terdiman, vice president and research director at researcher the GartnerGroup, said: "PeopleSoft eCenter leverages PeopleSoft's applications and service track record to offer customers a complete application hosting solution."
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