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Computer Associates to rent applications

The business software maker teams up with service providers to offer its network and systems management software to small and medium-sized businesses.

LAS VEGAS--Computer Associates is jumping into the software rental business.

The business software maker has teamed up with service providers to offer Computer Associates' network and systems management software to small and medium-sized businesses.

The company's software monitors the health of networks and computing systems. The software scans network devices and computers, ensuring that services such as email and the Internet don't go down.

With today's announcement at the Networld+Interop conference, Computer Associates joins a growing list of companies entering the application service provider market, an emerging industry that lets businesses rent software. Software makers Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft, for example, are renting their software over the Net.

Allan Peters, Computer Associates' senior vice president of channel sales, said the company is working with 20 partners to offer its management software--Unicenter TNG and NetworkIT--under the application service provider model. Two partners, Exenet and Datanet1, for example, are renting out the software to help businesses manage their computer systems and networks.

Computer Associates believes it can generate more sales by renting out the software to businesses that don't have the money or the time to install, run and manage the programs, Peters said. The company will soon offer its security and storage software as rentals over the Net, he added.

In December, Computer Associates announced plans to offer application service provider services in Asia to rent its software.