C&W slides away from ASP
No demand, no service
Cable & Wireless backed away from the ASP (application service provider) sector yesterday leaving the immature market for such services looking positively juvenile.
The withdrawal is a sorry blow to the already battered ASP market. C&W is one of the first of the larger, internationally-known organisations to launch and subsequently pull out of the ASP model. But as C&W notes, it didn't pull away from ASP because it was a bad idea; the market simply wasn't ready. The messag then is that C&W may bounce back into ASP when the time is right.
The telco told CRN US that it still firmly believed in the ASP model but, in a word of caution to firms operating this niche, stated that it had received very little interest in ASP services from its customers.
The decision then is a simple case of supply and demand. Cable and Wireless had no demand so it isn't going to do ASP. The company hasn't reported what will happen to existing customers, if indeed there are any, but it's doubtful that any will be dumped.
C&W kicked off the ASP programme in 2000 on the back of an agreement from Compaq, which came in as the hardware supplier. At the time the companies said they were investing $500m over five years in the project to sell Internet service package to small and medium businesses.
Many ASPs came to the table with hugely impressive offerings, from customised packages – of off-the-shelf software – to incredible SLAs (service level agreements). And plenty of them built very impressive data centres. Since the stuttering take-up however many ASPs have either gone to the wall or retrenched into simple, bulk order applications – Office, Exchange, Sage – which they can manage more cost effectively.
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