A lot of people dont like the name ASP, and some companies go to great lengths to avoid the label, even if providing application services is what they are doing — hello, IBM. Some think the acronym is tainted by the struggles of the start-up companies most identified with it. Others want to be more specific about what it is they do: One upcoming conference includes no fewer than nine subcategories of service providers under the “xSP” rubric — and that doesnt even count ASP. Very confusing. The term software-as-a-service is more inclusive than ASP, but it hardly trips off the tongue. And plain, old service provider is too generic to be much good. The identity crisis doesnt match up with industry problems such as slow customer adoption and data center debt, but it probably doesnt help any of the Ps sell their Esses.
Breakaway Solutions was still celebrating its hosting and management agreement with Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. in late June when word came that its shares had been delisted from the Nasdaq — a fate that befalls stocks that linger too long below $1 per share. Shares in Breakaway will be traded in the over-the-counter market. Breakaway CEO Bill Loftus says that despite a market cap of less than $14 million, the company is financially sound after raising $33 million and slashing its work force this spring. “We see profitability in short order for all our units,” he says.