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Outsourced applications in vogue at OpenWorld

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Silicon Valley may be rife with talk of software delivered as a service (SaaS) but at Oracle's OpenWorld in San Francisco today, the buzz was all about the traditional application outsourcing model.

Outsourcing specialist Infocrossing formally launched managed services for customers on Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards Enterprise One and JD Enterprise World.

Infocrossing claimed customers can save between 10 and 30 per cent on the cost of running enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems using its services. Infocrossing will deliver support plus on-site and off-site hosting at its five US datacenters.

Infocrossing was not alone in promoting such services. Oracle executive vice president Juergen Rottler today claimed Oracle's outsourced, hosted applications service - Oracle On Demand- had "just passed the 1.7m end user mark."

It was the only reference from the database and applications giant itself to anything remotely approaching SaaS that could take the shine of OracleWorld and concede PR to potential competitors Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and NetSuite. The Siebel On Demand offering that Oracle inherited with its 2005 Siebel purchase was Missing in Action.

As far as Infocrossing is concerned, SaaS has not sufficiently matured to run a mission-critical application such as ERP. Lee Fields, executive vice president, told The Register, the technology would need to improve and users would need to retain a large degree of control over systems before they are comfortable sending ERP out of house.

"Most people would be more comfortable with their own instance [rather] than a global instance," he said. "Information in [hosted] CRM is important but not critical to running the business on a daily basis. You lose the ERP, though, and you can't write a check or run the business."

Infocrossing, which moved into JD Edwards and PeopleSoft through the acquisitions of SMS and Soft Link in 2004 and 2005, is gunning for mid-market ERP users - companies with $150m revenue.®

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