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Aspective's Acquisition Creates Largest European ASP

[London, ENGLAND] Application service provider Aspective no longer aspires to be the largest ASP in Europe -- it is, with Wednesday's takeover of e-business specialist Oxygen Solutions Ltd.

Led by IBM UK's former chief executive Javaid Aziz, Aspective will pay an undisclosed sum in shares and cash for the U.K.-based company which specializes in the pharmaceutical and finance marketplace.

Slow to catch on in Europe, the ASP sector is now heating up, with a worldwide figure of US $4.5 billion being estimated for 2003. Essentially, companies in this sector deliver software as a service through the Internet, providing a full range of outsourcing opportunities to meet IT needs.

"The future of software delivery is ASP. With this model, businesses are able to focus on their core competencies to drive their business forward, while we ensure that their business-critical applications are up and running quickly and provided with minimal resource impact," said John Paterson, chief executive of Oxygen Solutions.

Javaid Aziz said he and his colleagues had established Aspective as the dominant player in the front-office ASP market, adding that this market has "explosive growth potential."

"The traditional way of managing IT is effectively obsolete. Businesses across Europe are beginning to appreciate what ASPs can deliver. The winners will be those ASPs which are able to scale rapidly and provide the most value for their customers," said Javaid.

Aspective's product ranges are named Arise; Aspire; and Assure, each containing modules for customer relationship management, e-commerce and mobile business.

One area in which Aspective has made considerable headway is in wireless applications, announcing two new services hosted by UUNet at the beginning of the year.

The acquisition of Oxygen Solutions follows Aspective's acquisition last year of Ives & Company, a systems integrator with Lotus Notes and Siebel expertise and a rapid implementation methodology named Pathway.

Aspective now has more than 220 employees, still well short of the 15,000 people whom Javaid managed during his tenure at IBM UK.