Lotus but no Microsoft on Telstra's ASP menu

New Zealand customers wanting to use Telstra's application service provider (ASP) can access Lotus applications but not Microsoft software.

New Zealand customers wanting to use Telstra's application service provider (ASP) can access Lotus applications but not Microsoft software.

In a worldwide initiative the Australian telco is running an ASP trial offering products from both companies, but the Microsoft service is restricted to Australia.

Line of business manager for Telstra eWorks Rohan MacMahon says the decision to confine the trial was made by Microsoft's corporate office in the US.

"It's a worldwide trial and it's up to Microsoft whether they want to take it further."

However New Zealand business users can access Lotus applications on the telco's Sydney-based ASP platform.

"Whether we can make the economics of this work is another matter," says MacMahon.

The applications on trial are Lotus collaborative software Quickplace, Sametime and Learningspace. Smartsuite will also be offered once the platform is ready.

All applications run on Citrix MetaFrame and need the Citrix thin client at the user end. Eventually many applications offered will be accessible via browser only.

MacMahon expects Telstra will sell "a few hundred licences" each for both brands with the ASP trial.

"We have somewhere in the region of hundreds in terms of number of users."

MacMahon says the ASP access model suits medium-sized businesses with an average of 100 employees.

"In some cases it will work for businesses that are smaller."

Telstra is also working on an ASP initiative with Australian business systems supplier Solution 6, in which it has a 24% stake.

Solution 6, which has an office in New Zealand, is offering the ERP-suite SAP via the ASP model in Australia and has plans to do the same here.

Telstra is also working with SAP on both sides of the Tasman, providing the network infrastructure for SAP's MySAP electronic market place.

In New Zealand SAP will be announcing its first products and suppliers next week.

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