ASP 'pay as you go' comes closer

The emerging application hosting market has been boosted with the introduction of the first "pay as you go" software licensing model.

A huge proponent of application service providers (ASPs), Citrix Systems, has introduced the model which is based on actual usage of concurrent user licences for Citrix's MetaFrame infrastructure software.

Nabeel Youakim, managing director, Citrix Systems, Asia Pacific, said the software licence, iLicense, is being offered exclusively to Citrix' iBusiness ASPs.

The iBusiness service provider program is one of a number of new ASP programs Citrix announced last week, and developed in conjunction with the ASP Consortium, an industry lobby group.

ASPs join the iBusiness program to become Citrix ASP partners and deliver solutions via Citrix MetaFrame, Youakim said.

He said iBusiness creates an "alliance-based network" where ASPs partner with network service providers and application specialists.

"There are three tiers in the model," Youakim said.

"ASPs do not have the skills, bandwidth or leg power to all that."

Youakim said no local ASP has joined the program as yet, but he is expecting local ASP Consortium members such as Mincom and Solution 6 to come on board fairly quickly.

"Within the next 30 days we would expect to have 10 [Australian-based] ASPs already signed," he said.

Combined with several ASPs from Hong Kong and Singapore, Youakim said there could be as many as 15 signed up in the first month within the Asia-Pacific market.

"Australia, like the US, is moving very, very quickly [in the ASP market].

"It's definitely starting from a standstill, [but] we've had a lot of interest in the ASP market," he said.

Youakim said the iBusiness partner program, particularly the iLicense component will "fast start" the ASP market, by making it easy for ASPs to get up and running.

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