Out and about
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.In one example, Savvis Communicationswhose stock once traded at $28 per share, dipped to $0.22 per share three years ago and is now up to $1.59 per shareis 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 email@example.com. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
"ASPs are coming back in stealth mode," said Gartner analyst Ben Pring during a presentation at the recent Gartner Outsourcing Summit.