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A Winning Combination: Software-as-Services Plus Business Consulting and Process Services
By Laurie McCabe
January 30, 2004

It’s been an eventful month for companies on the ASPnews top providers and enablers lists. Several have consolidated their positions through acquisitions and mergers, while others have strengthened their standing with customer wins or renewed analyst acclaim. The net result of all this jostling for position has been lots of activity, but no departures from either list this month. However, we do have a new name on the list as the result from a merger.

ASPnews Top 20 Archive
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»  April 2001 Top 20 

Welcome then to Exigen Group, which on Monday announced its acquisition of professional services application (PSA) provider Portera (see Portera Acquired by Exigen Group. Exigen now takes Portera’s place in the Top 20 providers list. Exigen’s existing business — as a business process outsourcer (BPO) serving certain vertical markets — makes a good fit with Portera, a company that brings Web services technology and skills that Exigen will be applying across its other divisions. The result should be an expansion in the combined company’s operations as a Web services-based provider.

USi Emerges, Then Merges
The other big merger of the month was that between Interpath and USinternetworking, which thereby reclaims its position as a leading provider, putting the uncertainty of its in Chapter 11 period behind it. (See USi Emerges from Chapter 11 — With Attitude.)

Interpath has always been an up-and-coming contender for inclusion in the Top 20, so this merger brings together two of the industry’s strongest names. Will the merged company decide to adopt a fresh name once it has completed the mechanics of the merger? We believe that’s a strong possibility.
What is the ASPnews Top 50?
All entries in the Top 20 Providers and the Top 30 Enablers lists are drawn from the ASP Industry Global 200 Directory.

The companies are selected based on several factors. Sheer size is just one parameter, which is weighted along with more qualitative assessments, such as respect among peers and talent to innovate within the ASP model.

Click here for a look at the criteria ASPnews uses to make its selections.

A third merger last month has strengthened the claims of Avasta to its Top 30 Enablers ranking. Avasta, who joined our listing in April when we expanded the providers list from 20 names to 30, acquired SiteROCK, another close contender for inclusion (see Avasta and SiteROCK Announce Merger). We believe the merger puts Avasta clearly out in front as the world’s largest pureplay MSP (unless, of course, someone can convince us any different).

Good news on customers came for several participants, including Telecomputing’s private-label spinoff Apptix and provisioning software vendor Abridean. NetLedger announced enhancements to its alliance with Yahoo!, while billing software vendor MetraTech just yesterday teamed up with prominent Web services pioneer Cape Clear.

There was good news from analysts too, with WebSideStory named once more as the leader in the hosted Web analytics market (see Web Analytics ASPs Set to Soar), while IDC confirmed the successes of Web-native providers such as Salesforce.com, UpShot and WebEx (see Web-Native Architecture Pays Off for ASPs).

Good News Means No Moves
The fact that so many of our Top 50 selections have featured on the right side of the news this month is something that we take great pride in — it also keeps the Top 50 list intact. This month’s news has brought solid confirmation that our selection process delivers the winners.



 

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