The directors of wholesale ASP provider ApplicationStation are confident it can ride through the storm that has claimed many of its peers, and are looking to the IT channel to sell the ASP model to the end-user community.
ApplicationStation was formed as a joint venture between several Australian shareholders and the owners of LearningStation, a US-based managed service provider specialising in the education vertical. With the US market tightening in 2001, the Australian shareholders have now bought out their US peers to make the company 100 per cent Australian-owned.
ApplicationStation delivers software applications to end users on behalf of software vendors or resellers/integrators. The company uses IBM hardware and Citrix software to deliver the applications from a data centre operated by Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications and has an agreement in place with Trend Micro to ensure that these applications are delivered securely.
Most of the applications the ASP delivers tend to be office productivity and financial/accounting packages such as MYOB or Exonet, based on the Microsoft platform. ApplicationStation's Tony King said there are agreements in place that will soon see the company offer higher-level applications such as customer relationship management and business intelligence solutions.
The ASP market has seen some significant shake-ups in the past year and the model ApplicationStation is pursuing did not reap rewards for Cavillon, a Sydney-based ASP that attempted a similar channel-based model over the last 12 months. Sources suggest Cavillon is no longer in business - its phones are disconnected, its Web site has been shut down and its CEO is no longer in the country.
But King insists the model will work. He said large companies with extensive IT resources are not interested in the ASP model, as they tend to deploy their own thin-client solutions internally anyway. But he said there is a huge base of small and medium businesses that have between 5 and 300 staff that have "half-skewed IT departments" that could generate cost benefits from the model.