Application Service Provider

Qwest Cyber.Solutions, Denver

The ASP space has grown very confused over the past year, as companies struggle to get the business case right. Our judges chose Qwest Cyber.Solutions, the ASP arm of Qwest Communications International, because it has managed to build a solid business in a very uncertain market.

"Qwest Cyber.Solutions got the business model right, and identified real businesses in a very confused segment," Mine says.

Qwest, led by CEO John C. Charters, has proven that ASPs can sell their services to large enterprise customers. QCS won several of the industrys largest ASP contracts, including a $22 million contract from Expanets, and an $18 million contract from Redback Networks, as well as other contracts from Fortune 1500 clients such as DaimlerChrysler, JDS Uniphase and Mitsubishi. In the first quarter of this year, QCS lured $60 million in business when many other ASPs were going under.

"Qwest certainly has a track record of success," Heckart says.

Its published service-level agreements, called QCS ProofPositive, were an industry first and enabled customers both to build confidence in hosting applications and to significantly reduce downtime. QCS was also the first ASP to receive SAS 70 Type II certification, verified by Andersen. This certification validates the companys internal control structure to assure operational excellence.

"A year ago, every service provider in the country was trying to get into the ASP business," Wilson says. "Many of them liked the idea of providing hosted applications, but may have underestimated the complexity of the process or the difficulty of this market shift. Qwest has managed both issues well, building confidence with large customers and creating an internal structure that makes the business model work."

Others receiving votes: Cable & Wireless

Previous winners: NightFire Software (2000)