Inprise joins ASP game

Inprise is planning to dabble in the emerging application service provider (ASP) market, but will not rely on the model for its bread and butter, according to a company executive.

Blake Stone, Inprise's chief scientist, in Sydney for the Comdex 99 conference, said as the ASP market continues to evolve Inprise will experiment in the area.

"We will try a few things, but are not dead set on it," Stone said.

He said the ASP market is going to work, however the most suitable model for customers is still being determined.

"The current market will reach a saturation point in six to 12 months. [The industry] will find out limiting factors of different models then see a second wave," he said.

"It's a huge growth opportunity for us . . . with new revenue models.

"But it depends on how the ASP model evolves," he said.

Inprise's part in the ASP game is not likely to be significant until the next wave, according to Stone. Development tools will be important in creating communication between ASPs, he said.

Meanwhile, at the company's annual user conference in Brisbane this week, Dave Fuller, Inprise president and CEO, announced plans to create a service especially aimed at ASPs.

Called AppServices, the division will integrate software and services from many ASPs into a single suite.

Customers will have access to different business applications sources through a web-based portal offering applications including communications and productivity tools, calendaring and messaging, Fuller said.

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