Silicon Valley ASPs Unite

Nine Silicon Valley ASPs decided its needs would be better addressed by
forming a consortium catering to its North California counterparts.

The Silicon Valley ASP Consortium was formed despite the existence of the
ASP Industry Consortium, which
has been a vocal member promoting ASP interests for years.

The group says the forum will “focus its efforts on
promoting ‘best-in-class’ service to its market base and will capitalize on
the strength of its membership to provide leadership and a set of improved
professional standards for the booming Silicon Valley ASP market.”

The consortium is the brainchild of Dorado.com director of customer service
Tom Wilkins and Tom Lounibos, Dorado.com chief executive officer, who
wanted an informal forum of local ASPs to discuss customer service and
sales issues specific to the area. Along with colleague Jim
Christofferson, the two contacted ASPs throughout the North California region.

From the meetings came a desire to formalize the group of companies who,
interestingly enough, are not members of the ASPIC.

“The reason we put together the consortium was to sit in an informal
environment with other ASPs in the Silicon Valley and discuss issues
affecting the vice presidents and customer service groups in our companies,
but it escalated to encompassing the ASP industry as a whole,” Wilkins
said. “All we’re doing right now is establishing parameters and setting up
meetings for companies that are looking at us as a forum for this and roof
for ASPs. It isn’t meant to be in competition with the ASPIC, but as an
adjunct to their service.”

Paula Hunter, president of the 600-member ASPIC, said the regional
consortium is a wonderful idea and reflects her own organization’s desire
to localize forums.

“We welcome any body or company that furthers the awareness and progress of
the ASP industry,” Hunter said. “We’ve been working on a change in our
charter to accept regional organizations that provide a service to a
specific area. In fact, we’ve formed a technology committee to address
some of the same issues that they are discussing.”

Larry Yu, Corio Inc., public relations
manager, said that although the two organizations have many similarities,
both serve completely different agendas.

“The ASPIC and the Silicon Valley ASP Consortium are fundamentally
different organizations,” Yu said. “The ASPIC is about creating standards
within the industry by talking about issues and their universal
implications. The Silicon Valley organization is focused on the tactical
issues to survive in the industry.”

According to Yu, the current members of the consortium are distinct
companies that provide separate areas of expertise. The other eight
members that make up the Silicon Valley’s ASP Consortium roster include
powerhouse companies Allegrix,
Corio , Application Park, Bitmo.com, HotPaper.com, Informative, ServiceSpace.com and Thinter.net. Each can debate within the
group the concepts affecting issues like training and pricing, Yu said.

Yet despite Yu’s claims that the two organizations provide oranges and
apples differences, Wes Eagan, HotPaper.com director of corporate sales,
thinks Silicon Valley ASP Consortium standards can benefit ASP’s worldwide.

“As one of the earliest participants in the Silicon Valley ASP Consortium,
I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made as an organization towards
developing a set of standards and benchmarks that the indus

try as a whole
can benefit from,” Eagan said. “It’s a perfect non-competitive outlet for
ASPs of all sorts to work together to strengthen our image as
customer-friendly, secure and valuable services for both established and
emerging global organizations.”

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