So Far, So Good
In what will prove to be the ultimate test of the value of its services, Intranets.com has made the transition from a free ASP to a subscription-based ASP. Like most companies that have tried the applications-for-free model — with income generated from advertising — Intranets.com found it was a money-losing proposition, particularly with Internet advertising drying up. The Boston ASP decided to make the gamble by charging its users for access to a variety of hosted applications, including communications and collaboration, group calendaring, expense reporting and a task manager. "It was obvious the advertising model was dying," says CEO Steve Crummey. "People were being inundated with banners. There was a connotation that free equals bad or no value, and corporate users were getting tired of the commercialism." The company switched to the subscription model on June 4, charging users a fee starting at $19.95 per month. So far, so good, Crummey says. Roughly 100,000 clients have opted to pay for the service. Intranets.com previously had about 1 million members in the U.S., but only 400,000 were active accounts.
USinternetworking has signed on a big-name client in the form of Visa U.S.A. The credit card company will use USi to host a human resources application from PeopleSoft. Terms were not released.
Full-service ASP Interpath Communications has forged a strategic partnership with Deloitte & Touche to market Interpaths hosted applications to Deloittes client base. No word yet on how this partnership affects a relationship Deloitte forged with ASP rival Intira in March.