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

We ring in the new year with three changes to our listings of leading service providers and enablers, each reflecting a different aspect of the growing influence of Web-native software in our industry. Two new entrants are Web-native software vendors, while the third earns its way on following the acquisition of a Web-native vendor.

Interland Buys Its Way On (Sort of)
Hosting provider Interland’s acquisition of Trellix, the Web-site publishing software provider, was the big news story of the past month affecting our Top 30 Enablers (see Interland Finishes Holiday Shopping, Buys Hostcentric).

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As the second-largest U.S. hosting company and one of the fastest-growing, Interland has long been a candidate for inclusion on the list. It has a track record of innovation in cost-effective hosting technologies for the volume small business market, the most recent of which was the launch last year of its blueHALO shared server hosting platform, incorporating network attached storage, redundant server arrays and proactive monitoring (see Interland Ups the Ante on Shared Hosting.

The addition of Trellix brings application-level capabilities that were previously absent from the Interland offering. Already a long-standing member of the Top 30 Enablers list, Trellix is a leader in the provision of hosted Web-site publishing capabilities for small businesses. Its emphasis on developing a cost-effective platform for high-volume hosting providers makes it an apt match for Interland.

LivePerson Is Something to Talk About
Our new entrant to the Top 20 Providers list is seeing stronger-than-expected growth, it reported last month (see LivePerson Adjusts 2003 Guidance — on the Plus Side).

LivePerson provides online chat services to Web-sites, enabling businesses to interact with their customers in real time, either to assist the sales process, or to provide live help and assistance to customers. One of the pioneers of live online customer care, LivePerson has faced a challenging few years but now appears to be breaking through to a stable growth path, allowing us to add it to the ASPnews Top 20. It takes the place of MSP Avasta.

The Ultimate Choice
Our third newcomer is Ultimate Software, which provides Web-based payroll and employee management, either as a hosted solution or as installed software. Its customer base includes business service providers, who themselves offer payroll and other services to client companies. Since the company’s main business is as a vendor of enabling software, the company joins our Top 30 Enablers list.

E-learning software vendor Saba leaves the Enablers list to make way for Ultimate. Earlier market enthusiasm for e-learning has faded, leaving Saba with lower revenues than when it first joined the list.


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