November 25, 2004

NETed in E-Learning Pact With Sun

NETED, a leader in people development and management solutions, has selected Sun Microsystems' Java Enterprise System (JES) as the infrastructure platform for the company's growing range of e- learning solutions. It expects this move to increase its services revenue by three- fold over the next few years to US$12 million (RM45.6 million).

"With JES, NETed will be better equipped to meet the needs of customers in the financial services industry, telecommunications, healthcare and government sectors, which demand highly scalable and secure environments," says S. Kumar, president and chief executive of NETed Group.

In Malaysia, International Data Corp figures show that the people development market will hit US$120 million next year. The research firm also predicts that the online education market will grow by 60 to 75 per cent year-on-year.

Terence Ng, Sun's director of sales Asia South, points out that JES has been designed and tested to inter-operate with a range of platforms.

"By leveraging JES and `wrapping' it around NETed's Corporate Adaptive Learning framework, NETed will be able to reduce time to market by almost six months while still providing our customary high standards that include telecom-standard availability and uptime for a robust and customisable environment."

Development costs will also be reduced by around 30 per cent, Ng says, as there will be a reduced need to ensure version compatibility because future releases of JES will come online.

He adds that JES is a consolidation of Sun's entire network services architecture, priced at US$100 per employee per year (for the US market).

When asked about market competition, Sun representatives say IBM is perhaps the most direct competitor to Sun, but that IBM handles product complexity for customers at a large cost, and by doing so it is stripping them of control of their intellectual property assets and burdening them with unpredictable costs year-on-year.

The representatives claim that to have similar capabilities of JES, customers will have to buy products from at least three software groups at IBM: Lotus, WebSphere and Tivoli.

They also say these products are not integrated, and each has a different licensing model and release schedule, making change and update management a difficult task.

As for Microsoft solutions, Sun representatives say managing Microsoft licensing can be a management task in itself, as its products require separate licences for server software, external connectors for users outside the firewall and client access licences for internal users.

In this regard, Sun guarantees investment protection, software and software service cost predictability, and an open and integrated system.

JES was generally made available on Jan 9 this year and can be downloaded from

It is also delivered with every copy of the Solaris operating system (SPARC and x86 platform editions) and Sun's Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.