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

After a busy February that saw three changes, the ASPnews Top 20 completes its first year of publication with no changes for March. But, as always, the superficial calm only disguises more tumultuous forces gathering below the surface. Year 1 of the Top 20 lists may be going out like a lamb, but you can bet that April and the start of Year 2 will come in like a lion.

ASPnews Top 20 Archive
»  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 
The Qwest Continues
We were premature four weeks ago when we announced the demise of Qwest Cyber.Solutions (see Qwest Cyber.Solutions Gone But the Quest Continues).

QCS has indeed merged with Qwest’s data center and Internet services division, but it has done so while retaining its existing name and without any change in its commitment to ASP solutions.

Although this merger makes the venture much more of an all-around managed hosting company, it is not the only Top 20 company that is expanding the range of services it offers. For example, Corio yesterday announced that it now delivers its application management services on-site to customers’ installed applications infrastructure (see Corio Adds New Delivery Models. In doing so, it joins USinternetworking, which last month added an MSP-style remote management offering to its service portfolio (see USi Goes On Location with USiRemote).

What is the ASPnews Top 20?
All entries in the Top 20 ASPs and the Top 20 ASP Infrastructure Providers 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.

For more on the process behind the Top 20 lists, see Global Top 20 — Your Questions Answered.

The Lists They Are A-Changin’
These developments signal that the industry is changing. On one hand, the boundaries between ASPs, MSPs and managed hosting companies are blurring. On the other, software vendors are becoming more like ASPs — look, for instance, at Divine in the content management sector or Saba in the e-learning sector.

Given the significance of these changes, we feel it’s time for us to review the definitions and criteria we use to identify a Top 20 player, and also to expand the scope of the listing to name an industry Top 50. We will publish our new, re-engineered listing next month, on the first year’s anniversary of the ASPnews Top 20.

Next month, we’ll also recognize what we call the ASP Elite, those ASPs and infrastructure providers that have maintained a spot of the Top 20 list for 12 consecutive months.


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