If you think application service providers are just a passing phase, think again. The ASP Industry Consortium, in its first ASPire Awards Show at Comdex, made one thing clear: ASPs are here to stay.
"We could've announced the awards subtly," said Citrix Systems' Traver Gruen-Kennedy, who is chair of the consortium, "but this is Vegas, and we all know there's nothing subtle about Vegas."
Gruen-Kennedy could have added that there's nothing subtle about the accomplishments of the ASPire nominees. The awards recognised the accomplishments of five pioneering application service providers in each of four categories: Management and operations, integration, delivery, and enablement.
LearningStation.com was honoured for its work with Low Country Day School. The US-based school's outdated PCs were replaced with an Internet-based local area network of thin-client PCs used by teachers, administrators and students from preschool through to Year 12.
LearningStation.com runs and supports the network and provides educational software and training, all for a total ownership cost of just 42 cents per student per day. The company was awarded the first ASPire Award in the Delivery category.
Verso Technologies won in the enablement category. In just 30 days, the company implemented a customer relationship management (CRM) solution for the developer of an online lawn and garden business-to-business (B2B) market place.
And for potential ASP users worried about performance, Verso offered some reassurance. The company exceeded its service level agreement with the client by providing 99.8 per cent application uptime for its Web-based Octane 2000 application, which links the sales, marketing and customer service departments of Verso's client to a single customer database.
Fuego Tech, which offers a Business Process Management suite of 28 applications, demonstrated how using an ASP can save money.
Using Fuego Tech, PRSOA, a Mexican financial firm, automated some of its workload and reduced operations expenses by 70 per cent. The success of the project earned Fuego Tech (formerly eTopware) the ASPire Award in the integration category.
Gruen-Kennedy and his award cohost, ASP Industry Consortium vice chair Cameron Chell of Chell Merchant Capital Group, stressed that the 20 nominees demonstrate the viability of the ASP model.
"These are real customer success stories," said Gruen-Kennedy, and they show that "this model is changing the world of computing."