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Progress hits the ASP trail

Progress hits the ASP trail

Another glove has been thrown into the Australian application service provider (ASP) arena following the announcement of a new ASP program targeting independent software vendors (ISVs).

Dubbed ASPen, the program was launched last week by the ASP Industry Consortium member Progress Software as part of the company's global push for a piece of a market estimated to reach $US6.4 billion by 2001.

According to Graham Sowden, Progress Software's managing director in Australia, the initiative will leverage the existing investment in Progress technology by helping its ISV partners "make an early entry" into this potentially lucrative market segment.

"The Internet presents enormous opportunities for our partners to ASP-enable their Progress applications and make them available to end users, expanding their user base while enabling customers to access their best-of-breed solutions at affordable prices," he said.

Estimating the market value in Australia to be around $135 million, Sowden revealed Progress Australia expects to significantly grow its revenue through the initiative.

"We expect to achieve the same level of penetration into the ASP market as we did in the embedded database market, which could see our revenue grow anywhere between 25 and 50 per cent."

ASPen will be executed in three parallel phases that will see Progress test the market through a number of pilot programs in the first phase and endeavour to ASP-enable up to 10 per cent of their partners in the second. The vendor will market ASP systems for the whole Progress base currently consisting of some 150 software applications as part of phase three.

The push is to be spearheaded by financial and distribution/supply applications that will be ASP-enabled with Progress WebSpeed or Progress Apptivity, as well as by Citrix technology for Windows-based applications.

Two Progress partners have already taken the ASP plunge, with Eastcoast Property Software (EPS) going online with a retail property solution (see page 32) and Brisbane-based Star Systems providing an online trading system for the banking and security industries.

"We used Progress Open AppServer technology to extend the architecture of Shares [the trading system] to include full Internet capabilities, resulting in SharesLive, our online trading and information network," said John Puttick, managing director of Star Systems.

"SharesLive will be extended and rebranded this year as Global Banking and Securites Transactions (GBST) offering 24-hour, multi-market, multi-currency trading and linking brokers, banks, institutions and markets in one seamless and secure network," Puttick explained.

Adding that his company was "very excited" about the opportunities for GBST in the global marketplace, Puttick said development support and the opportunity to "fully exploit the possibilities for application hosting both within Australia and overseas" have further cemented Star Systems' partnership with the vendor.


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