In an application services business where the losses keep piling up, Agilera founder and Chief Executive Paul Rudolph has put his Englewood, Colo., company in a position to win.
The Electronic Data Systems veteran steered Agilera past the obstacles on which better-known enterprise-class application service providers have stumbled. Rudolph chose from the start to partner with established players instead of building costly data centers or hiring an expensive-to-scale consulting force. Serving vertical markets has become an accepted strategy for ASPs, but Agilera has been doing it all along. And while talk of consolidation swirls through the industry, privately held Agilera has acted decisively, acquiring Applicast in late 2000.
Soft-spoken but passionate, whether the subject is his family or the Internet-driven phenomenon he calls "the knowledge value revolution," Rudolph deflects credit for Agileras success with genuine modesty. "I have been fortunate to work alongside some absolutely incredible and talented people, both inside and outside of our company," he says. "I have never subscribed to the Great Man theory, that any human, alone, created great societal change."
Rudolph believes that increasing access to and utilization of information will transform not just business but the world at large. "We are absolutely convinced that the ASP model is the next evolution in the knowledge value revolution that is already occurring in society," he says. "The ASP model will assist in enabling the next major societal shift . . . creating individual value for everyone involved in a business ecosystem."
Driven by Rudolphs combination of vision and execution, Agilera has become an emerging leader in the still-promising application services business.
Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.