Inprise Australia is repositioning itself to harness the growing application service provider (ASP) market following the launch of Inprise AppServices.
But the company is unlikely to rely on the service for its bread and butter for at least a few years to come.
Ray Bradbery, recently promoted from managing director Inprise Australia to vice president Inprise Asia Pacific, told ARN that Inprise would integrate software and services from many ASP companies into a single, easy-to-use suite.
`The majority of the current ASP models assume people want to use all applications from the one company,' Bradbery said. `But, that's not so. Most organisations use some applications from one company and some from another. With AppServices, you can use applications from any vendor and, because of universal registration, you can change ASP without disrupting the end user.'
Customers will have access to different business applications sources through a Web-based portal offering applications including communications and productivity tools, calendaring and messaging.
Bradbery said the channel was core to the success of Inprise's new ASP strategy and the company was currently looking to expand its channel program.
`It's another set of products available to sell through our channel partners,' Bradbery said. `We're also looking for new channel partners because it's a different marketplace. We're already talking to some larger companies.'
Bradbery said he could not confirm who the partners were yet but he expected to finalise agreements with a number of organisations by January. The first products would hit the market towards April next year.
`We believe this will be a significant marketplace over the next couple of years,' Bradbery said.
`With the advent of the Internet, organisations are realising they have to move a lot more quickly than they ever had to before.
`The key thing for us will be the integration of unlike environments,' he added.
`We will be providing infrastructure and partnering with a number of ASPs. We're already working with two in Australia and a number in the US.'
However, according to Inprise's chief scientist Blake Stone, in Sydney for the Comdex 99 Conference, Inprise's part in the ASP game is not likely to be significant until the second ASP wave.
`We will try a few things, but we're not dead set on it.' He said the ASP market is going to work, `but the most suitable model for customers is still being determined.'
`The current market will reach a saturation point in six to 12 months. [The industry] will find out limiting factors of different models then see a second wave,' Stone said.
`It's a huge growth opportunity for us with new revenue models. But it depends on how the ASP model evolves.'