Flanked by USinternetworking boss Andy Stern and Corio CEO George Kadifa, John Charters played nice when a panel discussion at the recent Information Technology Association of Americas ASP Leadership Summit turned to the life expectancy of first-generation ASPs. Earlier, the brash CEO of Qwest Cyber.Solutions spoke more bluntly when asked if he would consider buying some competitors in the anticipated industry consolidation. “What would I get — more employees, disparate locations and bad customers?” he said. “Id rather watch them die and pick up their good customers.” But QCS isnt waiting: The company is already courting the customers of other ASPs. QCS, which booked $60 million in new contract value during the first quarter, benefits from the stability derived from its relationship with parent company Qwest Communications International, as well as its close business ties to the giant telecom firm. “Im like a kid who lives in my dads house,” Charters said. “I pay rent — just not as much as somebody else would pay.”
The jokes at the Information Technology Association of Americas ASP Leadership Summit in Santa Clara, Calif., were telling. Softrax CEO Robert OConnor, moderating a panel of ASP users, quipped that the industry has been wondering where the customers were, which would have been funnier if half the panel hadnt been AWOL. When he polled the sparsely populated ballroom for other ASP users, no hands went up.