Microsoft VARs Ponder Oasis Plan

The Oasis project&'s aim is to reallocate more of the Redmond, Wash., software giant&'s internal systems&' development and business application development to a handful of global systems integrators such as Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, EDS and BearingPoint, said sources familiar with the plan.

>> ‘The Oasis program is Microsoft IT&'s preferred vendor procurement and rationalization effort.&'

“The initiative is being pushed by Microsoft&'s internal IT organization,” said one source. “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.” Partners engaged in application development for Microsoft&'s IT group must now go through a new process and will likely lose work, sources said.

Oasis, however, has no impact on Microsoft&'s product development efforts or partners that develop products with Microsoft&'s product groups, sources said.

Microsoft confirmed that “the Oasis program is Microsoft IT&'s preferred vendor procurement and rationalization effort.” The company said Oasis will limit the number of vendors its IT unit uses locally but won&'t impact its offshore efforts.

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News of Oasis surfaced last week as Microsoft and Infosys launched Catalytic IT solutions and services, and Catalytic IT center at Infosys&' campus in Bangalore, India. The suite consists of Infosys consulting services and project methods with Microsoft&'s Windows Server 2003, Office and Visual Studio platform.

One partner said the deal with Infosys can help expand market opportunities globally but he and others prefer Microsoft keep as much application development and IT services work as possible in the United States. “If this is the first of much work in which Microsoft is deeply involved in delivering services, it could change the current landscape of the relationships with the North American reseller/developer community Microsoft has worked so hard to develop,” said Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka Networks, Huntington Beach, Calif. “I would like to see Microsoft step up and do more of this domestically. I think clients would prefer that, too.”