Microsoft's Oasis Pushes More App Dev Offshore

Oasis aims to hand over more of its internal systems development and business application development work to a handful of global systems integrators including Infosys, Wipro, Tata, EDS and BearingPoint, said sources familiar with the plan.

Partners that currently engage in application development work for Microsoft's IT group must now go through a new process, sources said. Oasis, however, has no impact on Microsoft's product development efforts or partners that develop products with Microsoft, sources said. "The initiative is being pushed by Microsoft's internal IT organization," said one source familiar with the Oasis project. "The IT group is pushing business units to work through key partners to ensure privacy and security standards are met and Microsoft is getting the best cost deal."

Kami Lohry, a spokeswoman for Microsoft, confirmed that the company's IT organization has established Oasis as its "preferred procurement and rationalization effort for the company's IT work."

But she said the goal of Oasis is to "simply limit the number of vendors the organization uses locally" and has no impact on Microsoft's offshoring efforts.

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The discussion with Microsoft comes a day after Microsoft and Infosys announced a new solution suite and the opening of the Catalytic IT concept center at the Infosys campus in Bangalore.

The Catalytic IT solution suite, which combines Infosys consulting services, IP and project methods with Microsoft's latest application platform, including Windows Server 2003, Office and Visual Studio, is designed to lower the cost of management and allow enterprise customers to adapt more rapidly to changing IT requirements.

The solutions have been deployed at U.S. companies such as Johnson Controls and SCI and address four significant IT business needs -- updating legacy systems, connecting businesses, optimizing infrastructure and consolidating enterprise resource planning offerings, Microsoft said.

The Catalytic IT solution includes 30 intellectual property assets, service offerings and architectural blueprints, Microsoft said.

One partner said he doesn't care that Microsoft's internal IT staff is handing over its own application development work to lower cost providers but he is concerned about IT services work being exported overseas.

"I have heard of Oasis. It's a [Microsoft Senior Vice President of Microsoft Services and IT Rick] Devenuti special," said one partner who asked not to be named. "Partners largely don't care about Microsoft's internal IT. But we don't want to see a huge outsourced model for IT services. I worry about that."