ASP Initiatives

InfoWorld writes about the various ASP initiatives:

What started as a cute marketing slogan — “Just say no to software” — may turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The herd of CRM and ERP ASPs is growing stronger not only in services and features but also in number of customers. And as the herd grows stronger, it’s fissuring over whether customers are best served by specialized, industry-specific applications or the tools to customize hosted services for their particular needs.

Siebel Systems revealed that it will unveil an on-demand version of its UAN (Universal Application Network) platform later this year. UAN for OnDemand, now in trials, will officially become available this fall, said Keith Raffel, group vice president of products at Siebel CRM OnDemand.

Siebel’s plans come as a counter to, which earlier this month upped the ASP ante by previewing Multiforce, a so-called multitasking technology due in June that will allow customers to run simultaneous on-demand applications on the site. In addition, because the solutions are built on sforce they share the same data, security model, and interface.

Blending both sides of the argument, NetSuite [recently] detailed NetFlex, a platform for customizing NetSuite applications. Earlier this month the company also released a vertical application, NetCRM-Services Edition, tailored for accounting, medical, and other professional services.

Epiphany, a CRM vendor whose customers include Citibank, Gap, Microsoft, and Nestl, offers a variation of the on-premise model using a component-based SOA (service-oriented architecture).

According to Jon Miller, vice president of product marketing at Epiphany, the debate about hosted vs. on-premise obfuscates the real problem: how to integrate customer data scattered across dozens, if not hundreds, of systems into a single view.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.