Intira Takes High-End Road With Deloitte

Managed hosting company Intira Corp. will announce a partnership with Deloitte Consulting this week

Managed hosting company Intira Corp. will announce a partnership with Deloitte Consulting this week, with the promise of helping to bring high-end enterprise customers improved time to market, better Web site and applications reliability, and better technical support.

As part of the deal, Deloitte, of New York, will take approximately a 10 percent equity stake in Intira, of Pleasanton, Calif.

"Deloittes very much focused on the Fortune 1000, so its a good match," said Bernie Schneider, Intiras CEO. The deal will also help Intira approach customers with a brand name, Schneider said.

From Deloittes angle, "An equity interest gives us some upside. We took a strategic decision that we would like to have part of a hosting company," partner Craig Hodgetts said.

The deal with Intira came about largely because Intira is well-known for serving the highest-end customers, Hodgetts said.

The first customers to use the combined services will be Longs Drug Stores Corp., of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Deloitte itself. Although Hodgetts did not cite specifics, he said Deloitte will have Intira manage much of its back-end infrastructure.

Despite an overall "very good" experience with Intira as a managed hosting company, having Deloitte as a partner could prove both good and bad, said Ed Zabar, director of business development for New Yorks Viewtrade Securities Inc.

Deloittes name recognition will be an asset to Viewtrade, not just to Intira, Zabar said. "When we talk to our partners from around the world, and we tell them who our technology partners are, the worldwide-recognized name is a benefit for us as well," he said. But, Zabar said, choosing a hosting company like Intira already puts a company at the highest level, and adding Deloitte to the stable could raise the price even more.

"We didnt want to be in the business of building data centers and infrastructure capabilities," Deloittes Hodgetts said. "From a customers point of view, they can see that weve got some skin in the game."

Deloittes services to Intira customers will include expertise in application design, construction, integration, testing and implementation, as well as ongoing application and network management, support, and service, company officials said.

Meanwhile, Schneider said, Intira will probably announce deals with more regional and vertical partners this summer. For its part, Deloitte announced a similar partnership with NaviSite Inc., of Andover, Mass., in May last year.