As a business model, application service provision still doesn't excite everybody, but it hasn't stopped local pioneer Peakhour from staking its claim on the future after closing a second round of funding oversubscribed at $40 million.
Web developers and e-commerce integrators looking to embrace expanded hosting services stand to benefit from a better-resourced Peakhour, according to Megan Clarken, its chief of service operations.
"This capital injection will allow us access to more applications and to significantly expand our infrastructure," Clarken said. "That will benefit our resellers greatly."Clarken claimed the channel is crucial to the success of Peakhour and the ASP business model. "Resellers are one of the most important channels we have.
"One of the ways in which they will be able to benefit is through an expanded sales and support team. We are focusing very heavily on resellers and feel that other [ASP players] are not catering to the resellers as well as they should."Peakhour first entered the limelight last August with a $12 million first round of funding. The company now employs over 100 staff and has done enough with its seed funding to attract more from the same investors as well as a host of new ones.
A press statement said Peakhour would use the funds "to accelerate development within Australia and expansion into international markets". It intends to commence operations in Asia, Europe and North America within 12 months, the statement said.
Clarken said typical end users of its applications were small and medium businesses who have shown "exceptional response" to the "Peakhour dashboard" - a browser-based customised desktop for each employee.
Without enough high-bandwidth infrastructure in place in Australia, Clarken said resellers were mainly interested in value-added hosting-type services at the moment. However, she claims this doesn't mean Peakhour is ignoring the second wave of ASP demand when more people have access to high bandwidth.
"For the reseller community, we are currently focusing on hosting services," Clarken said. "It would be silly to focus on bandwidth products when clearly the access isn't there. But it won't be long before it is there and our strategy is all about being ready when it does become more broadly available."Peakhour's $40 million included contributions from existing shareholders APN News and Media as well as Technology Venture Partners (TVP). New investors were led by Hong Kong-based Telecom Venture Group.
Allan Aaron, executive director of TVP, said: "Peakhour is totally focused on servicing the small business market, unlike some of its local competitors, and will be successful because of the expertise it has acquired in this sector."