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ASPIC Forms End User Council

As part of its continuing effort to meet the needs of application service provider customers, the ASP Industry Consortium has announced the formation of an End User Council to provide leadership and direction on how Consortium members can better meet the needs of their customers.

"The ASPIC End User Council provides customers with a way to play a crucial role in the direction, development and improvement of ASP services," explained Richard Jenkins of IntraLinks, chairman of the Consortium's End User Committee, of which the End User Council is a component. "This is also a way for our members to provide more value to end users. Customer input is especially critical as the Consortium helps to establish guidelines for the application service provider industry."

The Council held its first meeting in conjunction with the Consortium's educational program at the recent COMDEX Fall 2000 conference in Las Vegas. Initial members of the council include Mark Hoffman, Application Systems Architect, Tufts Health Plan; Gates Ouimette, Co-Founder, Partner, Launch Technology; Michael Mandelbaum, VP Information Systems, Prudential Insurance; James Priolo, VP Global e-Investment Banking, Chase Manhattan Bank; Mark A. Olson, V.P., Business Development, Sallie Mae; and Sarah Tonks, Managing Director, Bloor Research (UK).

"We expect to expand significantly the membership of the End User Council, which is comprised of key decision-makers within their organizations." Jenkins noted. "Current and future members will use their expertise to assist in perfecting our current services as well as laying the foundation for future services. They will assure that businesses worldwide can reap the full benefits of the ASP model, which include rapid deployment of state-of-the-art software, economies of scale and the freeing of existing IT resources."

The End User Council is continuing to add members, with a goal of comprising professionals from around the world in the finance, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, high tech and professional services industries. Each member needs to have influence over e-commerce initiatives within his/her organization and have significant potential to influence overall industry practices and standards. Membership on the Council is by invitation only.

From the customer's perspective, members of the End Users Council will be able to have an open dialog with other ASP implementers on lessons learned, as well as access to the Consortium's research and other resources.

The End User Council is the latest step by the ASP Industry Consortium to help promote customer understanding of the ASP computing model. In recent weeks, the Consortium has built an End User Resources offering into its website where a number of helpful guides, overviews and other materials are publicly available to answer basic questions on topics ranging from service level agreements (SLAs) to security.

Founded in May of 1999, the Application Service Provider Industry Consortium is an international advocacy group of more than 700 companies formed to promote the application service provider industry by sponsoring research, promoting best practices, and articulating the measurable benefits of this evolving delivery model. Its goals include educating the marketplace, developing common definitions for the industry, as well as serving as a forum for discussion and sponsoring research. Among the technology sectors represented among the ASP Industry Consortium membership are Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Network Service Providers (NSPs), Application Service Providers (ASPs), as well as emerging business models and other sectors supporting the industry.