Out and about

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2004-06-07 Print this article Print

Out and about

Like mammals emerging after the asteroid took care of the dinosaurs, surviving service providers (dont call them ASPs!) are emerging to inherit the IT services ecosystem.

"ASPs are coming back in stealth mode," said Gartner analyst Ben Pring during a presentation at the recent Gartner Outsourcing Summit.

In one example, Savvis Communications—whose stock once traded at $28 per share, dipped to $0.22 per share three years ago and is now up to $1.59 per share—is continuing to make a go of it, despite its near-death experience. Still losing money (a $94 million loss on $253 million in sales), the company acquired the assets of Cable & Wireless America in January and is now building on that acquisition to announce this week a managed utility service to let customers use Microsoft Exchange 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services.

The on-demand e-mail service utilizes Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and includes anti-spam, anti-virus and content-filtering features as well as support for BlackBerry wireless devices. A key selling point is that customers pay only for what they use, although Savvis is not making pricing information available yet.

If Pring is right, companies such as Savvis are headed for better times. The analyst predicts that the years 2006 to 2009 will be "The Service Age," in which there will be a "massive wave of innovation and new applications from service providers. Worldwide software-as-a-service revenue in 2008, Pring predicted, will be $14.4 billion.

Stan Gibsons e-mail address is stan_gibson@ziffdavis.com.

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Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on Zcast.tv. He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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