Hewlett-Packard got the jump on last week's ASP Summit in California, by announcing a new "e-service" to its portfolio in the form of online billing for ASPs (application service providers).
The online pay-per-use billing utility, IP-Billing-on-tap, is designed to help service providers set up billing services without having to shell out heavy up-front costs. The service allows service providers' customers to register and administer the billing practices, aswell as provide real-time tracking of customer usage.
Billing has been considered by many experts to be the Achilles heelof the ASP model, presenting devel-opment challenges to both software vendors and service providers.
Hewlett-Packard will partner
several companies to make the utility
HP's first customer for the nascent service is BCE Nexxia, a division ofBell Canada, that says the solution is beneficial because of the flexibility it provides.
Nigel Ball, general manager of HP's e-services partner division, will deliver the opening keynote address at the ASP Summit. Also at the ASP Summit, Eggrock Partners, recently acquired by Breakaway Solutions and one of the founding members of the ASP Consortium, will roll out the latestversion of its e-Co Share services.
E-Co Share is a Web-based application leasing service designed to support rapid growth and minimise up-front risks of acquisition costs.
Elsewhere on the ASP front, Internet-hosting giant Exodus Communications acquired the professional services division of Network 1 Security Solutions. The addition of the security services division to Exodus, which hosts such high-profile sites as eBay and Yahoo, is a move designed to allay fears that customers have about hosting mission-critical applications via the Internet.
According to Exodus president and CEO Ellen Hancock, security is a top concern for large enterprises. Given the denial of service attacks many popular Web sites experienced last week, the announcement is likely to strike a chord with most businesses. Exodus offerings from Network 1 will include consulting for network design.www.hp.com