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September ASPnews Top 50

Both our Provider and Enabler lists remain the same for August, but our member companies have by no means been idle. With some good news and some bad news, we've got our eyes on them all as we consider any changes to September's list.

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Our Top 50 list for September sees a change on the Enablers side as a result of an acquisition. Earlier this month, search provider FindWhat announced plans to acquire Web services ISV Miva (see FindWhat.com Gets E-Commerce Tools). The move is an attempt by FindWhat to bolster its sagging ad base by strengthening its position among the small businesses that were the early adopters of paid search.

While Miva's product line will not disappear -- it will operate as a division of FindWhat -- it will no longer be the core business of the company, making FindWhat ineligible for inclusion in the Top 50.

To fill the void left by Miva, we turn to hosting automation service provider Ensim. As we said last month, we've been keeping an eye on this company, who has long been a major player in the hosting automation software space.

This week, Ensim and rival SWsoft each debuted tools to help HSP customers offer premium services (see Ensim Serves Up Power Tools for HSPs). But the big news that pushed Ensim ahead of competitors like SWsoft came in late July, when Ensim teamed with Microsoft to launch a new Operations Support System for the hosting industry (see Ensim, Microsoft Team on Hosting Infrastructure).

Ensim Unify, developed in collaboration with Microsoft, aims to break web hosters out of the "stagnation" they've been in by making it easier to implement hosted applications like Microsoft Exchange, as well as existing or custom-built services.

We see more changes ahead for both sides of our Top 50 list in the coming months. There's been no shortage of negative attention on two of our Top 50 companies this month: there's the ongoing drama of Oracle's attempt to take over PeopleSoft (see Oracle Steps Up Pursuit of PeopleSoft); and MCI, formerly WorldCom, is in the process of buying the remaining shares of Digex it doesn't already own, and meanwhile hopes to emerge from bankruptcy and keep its executives out of jail (see MCI in Deal with Dissident Creditors, Ex-WorldCom CEO Pleads Not Guilty on Fraud Charges). Others on our list have been strangely quiet of late, but rest assured, we'll investigate fully to make sure the list remains relevant.