Application service providers (ASPs) may have their knockers, but one new venture based around a $10 million contract to host IBM's WebSphere Commerce e-business suite claims it has customers queuing up.
Commerce Centre, an IBM premium business partner founded by a selection of former IBM, IBM GSA and McKinsey staff, is aiming to be a one-stop shop for all e-business technology.
According to Craig Allen, Commerce Centre's business development manager, its three-year agreement with Big Blue is the foundation upon which affordable, customised e-commerce solutions will be offered to SME customers.
Dismissing the notion that Australian customers are not ready or interested in the ASP business model, Allen said that Commerce Centre is being "inundated" by customers, including "a lot from Singapore and Hong Kong".
"Finding customers is not an issue," Allen said. "We are selling shovels in a gold rush. Access to the internet and e-business solutions is going to have a bigger impact on society than the economic revolution and this is a good example of someone coming up with an ASP model that will generate significant demand."
Allen said the WebSphere suite is going to be offered in three ways with hosted solutions available for various individual components or the whole kit and caboodle of WebSphere. It is expected that the costs of services will range from as little as $500 right up to fully hosted e-business solutions with ASP contract values in excess of $500,000.
"It is the cost of ownership that makes the ASP model so critical and which makes it a viable option," Allen said. "What we will be offering is the very latest e-business hardware and software, technology and systems for a monthly fee.
"We will be offering the type of availability, scalability and security attained by high-end systems in a model that is affordable to businesses of all sizes."