March, Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) announced the launch
of its AppsAlive! preview site, which allows its ASPconnections.com portal
to showcase "live" ASP business applications from multiple software vendors.
AppsAlive!, a new initiative from Progress Software's ASPEN 2000 Program,
helps Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) deploy their ASP applications
on the Web and enables end-users to test-drive the applications at no
at www.ASPconnections.com, AppsAlive! launched with business applications
from 10 Progress-based ASPs. The following ISVs will be featured in this
first set of AppsAlive! applications:
ASPs provide solutions for Supply Chain, Management Systems, Resource
Scheduling, Financial, Legal, and Inventory Control. Other ASP applications
and links will be added over time.
Software's Application Service Provider ENablement (ASPEN) Program, "ASPEN
2000" boasts a membership of more than 150 partners from 20 different
countries. The ASPEN 2000 Program offers business planning assistance,
services, and partnerships to help ISVs convert Progress-based applications
into ASP-enabled applications.
new applications are available on a subscription basis, (rather than purchasing
a license) and accessed over the Internet. They allow small and mid-tier
organizations to gain access to application functionality previously unavailable.
ASP-enabled applications reduce traditional IT infrastructure costs because
they are developed and maintained by service providers rather than an
internal IT staff.
analysts estimate the "application rental market" will generate in excess
of $4 billion in revenue by 2003. Progress Software anticipates bringing
its 2,000+ ISV partners and their more than 5,000 Progress-based applications
to this new distribution channel.
AppsAlive! offering is an attractive sales tool. Other vendors have initiated
"test drives" such as SAP's Advanced Hosting with its mySAP.com announcement
in January 1999. Allowing users to test applications with their own data
is a strong sales feature. This coupled with referrals and case studies
will help customers decide if the service is right for them. As Independent
Software Vendors incorporate Internet capabilities, we expect to see more
ASP's offering this type of service.
Progress Software partners interested in the ASP model should investigate
their options. The initiative may be interesting to consider as Progress
has done the initial work in creating a portal and marketing the AppsLive!
solution. A topic to consider is the overall business value the ASPEN
program offers. Most important is an understanding of the cost requirements
to convert and host applications online.
For companies considering outsourced solutions Progress Software's ASP
initiative may be worth exploring. We recommend "shopping around," as
many software vendors (both small and large) are embracing the ASP business
model and are rushing to make their solutions available over the Internet.
Most important is finding a solution that meets your company's needs,
provides the necessary support and offers an affordable pricing model.