ISVs climb on the PitStop brandwagon

SINGAPORE (10/02/2003) - Local independent software vendors (ISVs) are looking to leverage on the Oracle Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) brand names under the PitStop (Partners Innovative Technology and Solution Centres) initiative to help them make inroads into overseas markets.

PitStop, which was announced last week, is a regional network of competency and development centers set up by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Oracle. The first PitStop center, run by ECS Holdings Ltd. subsidiary Astar Technology, was opened in Singapore last week. It will be followed by centers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

One of the first companies to sign up with PitStop in Singapore is Wheresoft Geocommerce Pte. Ltd., which produces a personal navigation and business search product for personal digital assistants (PDAs). The technology enables content such as the Singapore Land Authority's street maps and business listings from the Yellow Pages to be compressed into a 128M-byte secure digital memory card, and secures the content with an authentication code based on the internal ID of the PDA.

According to its chief executive officer Terence Tan, the product has been available in Singapore since last month. "We do not have a presence outside Singapore and we're looking to PitStop to carry our product overseas," he said.

Derek Chia, director of inventory and materials management software company Vientity, also hopes that PitStop will help link his company up with manufacturing hubs in other parts of Asia. "We're looking at hubs such as Penang, perhaps at a PitStop there, and maybe Thailand after that."

He also hopes the initiative can be extended to other north Asian markets like China and Japan. Vientity provides intelligent risk management of inventory for the high-tech industry.

Another company, ReasonEdge, which provides decision analytics software for the healthcare and biosciences industry, is also leveraging on PitStop to develop its critical care communication information service (CCCIS). CCCIS, which is targeted at hospitals with intensive care units, integrates -information from various medical devices in a decision analysis database, said George Wong, director of Technology and Professional Services.

ReasonEdge is developing the product with the National Neuroscience Institute, and hopes to bring it to market next year.

HP and Oracle have said that they will commit about US$10 million in products and services to PitStop over the next three years around Southeast Asia.

As a live lab for localized product development, all PitStop centers will run the full range of Oracle infrastructure software and the Oracle eBusiness suite on HP's technology platform.

"One of key problems that ISVs have is difficulty in localizing their products," said Richard Chai, alliance business development manager with Oracle South Asia. "Besides branding and marketing, PitStop will provide the technical expertise to help ISVs enter a new market."

As the PitStop ISVs commercialize their products and bring them to market, Oracle and HP expect them to generate revenues of up to US$100 million over the next five years, with about US$27 million of this coming from Singapore.

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