Optus retires on-demand desktop apps

Summary:Optus plans to pull the plug on the non-e-mail elements of its Online Office solution, a joint offering with IBM that provided business customers with applications like Microsoft Office via a Web portal. Optus is expected to continue to sell a managed e-mail solution dubbed 'eXmail' based on the Web version of Microsoft's Outlook client.

Optus plans to pull the plug on the non-e-mail elements of its Online Office solution, a joint offering with IBM that provided business customers with applications like Microsoft Office via a Web portal.

Optus is expected to continue to sell a managed e-mail solution dubbed 'eXmail' based on the Web version of Microsoft's Outlook client. The number two telecommunications player sent customers of the desktop apps an e-mail warning them they had until December 31 to find an alternative solution.

ZDNet Australia understands the products being retired are the "Office Desktop" and "Private Applications Services" product lines, which respectively offered Microsoft Office and other customised applications to customers through a Web portal.

"There are elements of the service that Optus is planning on retiring," confirmed a spokesperson from the company. "Those customers that are impacted, we are working with closely to find an alternative service."

It is understood only a small number of customers were involved. However, the Optus spokesperson was unwilling to say exactly how many.

When Optus initially launched Online Office in March 2004 in conjunction with IBM, Bill Leakey, a director within the telco's business division, said the availability of on-demand applications would solve some of the problems of businesses stressed about IT.

"Together [with IBM] we will provide relevant and cost effective solutions, taking away the headache of IT that many business owners just don't want to deal with," Leakey said.

Topics: IBM, Microsoft, Optus, Telcos

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