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September ASPnews Top 50
By Staff

September 10, 2002

Consolidation in the application services industry triggers change in our Provider Top 20 list this month. The move brings about the departure of two longstanding members, while another former member makes a sudden return and a new entrant typifies the power of a vertical focus.

Strategic Acquisition
Agilera is the familiar name that rejoins the Top 20. The Denver-based company left the list in February after it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings for Applicast, the California-based ASP it had acquired a year before. But last month’s acquisition of enterprise messaging ASP United Messaging has been a significant boost for the size of its overall ASP revenues, as well as signalling its vigorous determination to remain a player in the ASP sector (see Agilera Sends Message With Acquisition.

ASPnews Top 20 Archive
»  August 2002 Top 20 
»  July 2002 Top 20 
»  June 2002 Top 20 
»  May 2002 Top 20 
»  April 2002 Top 20 
»  March 2002 Top 20 
»  February 2002 Top 20 
»  January 2002 Top 20 
»  December 2001 Top 20 
»  November 2001 Top 20 
»  October 2001 Top 20 
»  September 2001 Top 20 
»  August 2001 Top 20 
»  July 2001 Top 20 
»  June 2001 Top 20 
»  May 2001 Top 20 
»  April 2001 Top 20 
Unfortunately, Agilera’s resurgence back into the Top 20 ranks has dislodged another longstanding and well-respected participant. has been a Top 20 ASP since the list launched in April 2001. During that time, it successfully transitioned its business from a mainly ad-funded model to an entirely paid subscription model, retaining a loyal user base among small-to-mid-sized businesses and corporate departments. This year, it struck co-branding deals to add its service to big-name portals Terra Lycos and Excite, and is breaking into vertical markets such as realty. While ability to retain a user base of more than 100,000 is impressive, its low per-user subscription fees have held back growth in the company’s revenues compared to others in the Top 20.

Good PR Value
Among the many vertical market sectors where ASPs have been growing fast, one of the strongest is in the realm of marketing and related services. Our second new entrant this month is Vocus, which has built an impressive customer base providing hosted, Web-based public relations automation to the PR industry. The company has been recording double-digit revenue growth in recent quarters and last month expanded its international presence with the opening of new offices in France and Hong Kong.

Vocus replaces business outsourcing group Exigen, which acquired the professional services ASP business of longstanding Top 20 member Portera in June this year.

Exigen remains an important industry player, as highlighted by its recent deal with EDS to jointly provide its “business process utility” services to clients in financial services and other industries. But its business model no longer meets our criteria that ensures that all of the companies included in the Top 20 Providers list derive the majority of their revenues from “pureplay” ASP activities.

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