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Surebridge Looking Like a Sure Thing

Not a lot of pureplay enterprise ASPs have survived to see 2003. And of those that have survived, few are profitable.

Surebridge Inc. can make that claim. Because it's a privately held company, it's not possible to know for certain, but Surebridge seemingly has avoided the financial roller coaster that competitors such as Corio and USi continued to ride in 2002.

The Lexington, Mass.-based enterprise ASP announced recently that it closed 2002 as a profitable company. Surebridge reports that it ended the year on an uptick, signing new clients (including Hill, Holliday, Nye Lubricants; RiverBend Medical Group; and Shore Memorial Hospital) and renewed hosting contracts in the fourth quarter.

Surebridge said that the new customer engagements represent a 64-percent increase in its hosted customer base over 2001. Peter J. Boni, the company's chairman and CEO, said Surebridge's success is tied to the successful implementation of a five-part strategy that the company laid out last August (see Surebridge Finds Profits in Mid-market). That plan called for the ASP to take the following actions:

  • Focus on CRM/ERP front-to-back office integration
  • Tailor applications vertically in key markets
  • Add alternate channels of distribution through strategic alliances
  • Gain new sales from established customers (i.e., cross selling and up selling additional services to its customer base)
  • Acquire when strategically sound and financially accretive

One of the keys to Surebridge's success was last fall acquisition of Peoplesoft ASP Transchannel (see Surebridge Acquires Transchannel. Boni said that Transchannel had an 8 percent market share in the hosted Peoplesoft application market, which was added to Surebridge's 16 percent. "We have a quarter of the Peoplesoft market share and are going up. Some competitors have 25 percent, but they are going down."

In 2003, Boni said that Surebridge will continue to focus on the mid-market (which he defines as between $10 million and $1 billion) and that he expects the company's revenues to roughly double to $50 million, while remaining profitable.

Boni said that one of the secrets of Surebridge's success is the size and efficiency of its infrastructure. "Our data center is 90 percent utilized. Some competitors may be 15 percent. They have football fields of unused space. We're organized for scale. Revenues will start to drop to the bottom-line."

Boni said that Surebridge will add two vertical focuses in the coming year: retail and the public sector (e.g., state and local government). In general, he said the company will continue to develop its channel, partner strategically and focus more on business process outsourcing.

Surebridge is listed by ASPnews as a Top 20 Service Provider.


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