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Sprint, Deloitte Offer Enterprise-Level Hosting Services

Sprint Communications Co. (www.sprint.com) and Deloitte Consulting (www.dc.com) announced a joint initiative in which the companies will offer end-to-end hosting and services targeted at Fortune 1000 corporations.

The services to be provided by the alliance are divided into four parts: network services and data center operations provided by Sprint, with application support, and business and system integration provided by Deloitte.

"The entire handling of the system, getting it developed installed and operated on a consistent bases over the network is something this alliance will be offering," says Marc Schwarz, managing director of outsourcing services for Deloitte Consulting. "We think this alliance is quite different and unique from anything else that calls itself an application service provider."

Schwarz explains that most ASP models today are geared towards low to midrange environments. The Sprint-Deloitte ASP alliance is designed for the big boys and can take on the load of ERP, customer relationship management, supply chain management and future e-commerce applications.

"There will be a single point of contact for the entire set of services. There will be service level agreements with only one entity," Schwarz explains. "This is very important so the accountability is with one party for the entire operation of the system." Billing for these services will be provided on one monthly bill for the full set of services.

As for what’s inside the hosting centers -- currently Sprint has two, one in San Jose, Calif. and the other in Relay, Md. -- Jeff Anderson, Sprint vice president of strategic development, says there will be a preferred design but will also offer customizability. "To recognize the potential of an efficient environment we will have a preferred set of applications to meet customers’ specific needs," Anderson says. "You have to somewhat streamline, but recognize the multi-million dollar investments in their own infrastructure." So far, the alliance has not signed any contracts with hardware or software providers, although it’s something that may happen down the road.

While there are a number of ways to access the data center, Sprint is pushing for the use of its Integrated On-Demand network, or Sprint ION, a converged, manageable pipe for data, voice and video transmission.-- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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