A Sharp ASP

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A Sharp ASP
A. Turner - July 14, 2000

Event Summary

On June 14, 2000, Harbinger Corporation, a supplier of business-to-business (B2B) e-Commerce solutions, announced it has been selected by Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas (SMA) as its Application Service Provider (ASP). Under the multi-year contract, Harbinger will begin work to expand Sharp's e-Supplier community and integrate e-Procurement transactions via a suite of applications hosted for Sharp Microelectronics on Harbinger's e-Commerce Infrastructure, harbinger.net.

The Harbinger ASP solution enables Sharp to access e-Commerce business tools on a subscription basis. The tools allow Sharp to integrate and track e-Commerce transactions with a Web-based market site that will facilitate electronic price forecasting and negotiation, just-in-time inventory management and real-time shipment logistics. Further, Harbinger is providing Business Community Integration services to broaden Sharp's reach into its supplier base. By choosing Harbinger as its ASP, Sharp is assured its e-Commerce program is technologically current, backed by 24/7 help desk support and a highly trained staff.

Market Impact

Harbinger's ASP business has gained momentum during the first half of 2000. The subscription-based model allows customers to access e-Commerce technology and support services with minimal up-front investment pressure. Multi-year ASP contracts typically range in size and requirements based on the customer's technological needs, with values of between $100,000 and $2.5 million. In 1Q00 alone, Harbinger's ASP program added new contracts with companies such as Bluelight.com, Edaflow, FactorWorks, Tektronix and Webvan.

The advent of improved bandwidth, a shortage of qualified IT professionals and "web-ready" applications is fostering a rich environment for Application Service Providers. With analysts predicting the ASP market to reach 20 - 40 billion by 2003, it is not difficult to see the trend continue. To that end, many companies have architected web enabled offerings. Organizations such as "aspindustry.org" witness their membership roster growing on a weekly basis. Additionally, several ASP portals boast registries listing hundreds of Application Service Providers. The wave of Application Service Providers continues to grow.

User Recommendations

Harbinger's contract with Sharp represents an interesting mix. The partnership will help Harbinger refine its offerings and establish connectivity with Sharp's supplier channel. While initially this may not benefit current clients, it will help Harbinger build operational experience.

Users considering Harbinger's solutions also benefit from Peregrine's recent purchase of Harbinger. This offers customers the full scope of both companies offerings. However, with many new Application Service Providers emerging, prospective clients now have a variety of choices. We recommend evaluating Harbinger's offerings with similar ASP's not only in regard to the applications, but the hosting and implementation/support offerings too.

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