AMSTERDAM (03/15/2000) - There is no need for all service providers to make the transition to ASP (application service provider) overnight, even though today's model of the ISP (Internet service provider) will eventually die out. This was the message from a panel discussion here at the ISP2000 conference in Amsterdam today.
"Quite simply, if you can't offer reliable services, don't jump into the market," said Kam Patel, a Nortel Networks Corp. consultant on Internet business solutions.
"If you go up as an ASP and you crash after three days, the minute the press finds out about it, you're finished," Patel added.
Dan Croke, sales director of ESAT Net concurred with his fellow panel member.
"Everybody's going to give it a swing, but not everyone is going to get it right," Croke said.
According to the panel, if your are offering hosting services, one of the most difficult prospects of the transition is to find out who your customers will be. Most Fortune 500 companies will laugh at you if you try and sell them the ASP model because they're not willing to take the risk, Patel said.
"It's much easier to get into the SME (small to medium sized enterprise) market," Patel said.
The same goes for the smaller companies, but for different reasons. "The very low end of SMEs don't have anything to gain from going to an ASP, nor do consumers," Edward van de Zande, the Netherlands-based business director for Silicon Graphics Inc. said.
"In the end, it all comes down to what kind of content you can deliver," van de Zande added.
According to Nortel's Patel, the next logical move will be to Wireless ASPs (WASPs). Van de Zande agreed but warned that providing media rich content services wirelessly may not be a feasible market for a while.
"It will still be one and a half to two years before mobiles will be ready for it," van de Zande said.
There will be other business models in the future. One such future model may be companies hiring the expertise of a service provider to run the entire network, said Wim Horseling, product marketing manager for Cabletron Systems Inc.
"However, only the very specialized ISPs can offer the value added services that these companies are expecting," Horseling said.
ISP2000 continues through Thursday in Amsterdam; more information can be found at http://www.isp2000europe.com/. Nortel Networks Corporation, based in Brampton, Ontario, can be reached at +1-905-863-0000, or at http://www.nortelnetworks.com/. Cabletron Systems, based in Rochester, New Hampshire, can be reached at +1-603-332-9400, or at http://www.cabletron.com/.
Silicon Graphics, based in Mountain View, California, can be reached at +1-650-960-1980, or at http://www.sgi.com/.