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Progress Offers a Test Drive

Written By: A. Turner
Published On: April 10 2000

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Event Summary

In 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 charge.

Available 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:

Applied Logic CL International
GBST Hipvale
Open Accounts Progressive Solutions
Sales Systems Skyward Computer
Solicitec Systemcare

These 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.

Progress 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.

These 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.

Market Impact

Industry 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.

The 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.

User Recommendations

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.

 

 
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