Reseller Esteem claimed it is moving with industry trends by launching Aspirant, an application service provider (ASP) intended to replace its electronic document management (EDM) division.
Susie Davison, managing director of the newly formed company, said: "Industry leaders, such as Bill Gates, are saying that the software industry is leaning towards the leasing model. If these people are right then the Esteem business as it stood would have been reduced."
Aspirant was launched last month and will concentrate on content management and office productivity markets by providing customers with hosted and managed applications.
The new company has consumed the resources of Esteem's former EDM division and will provide the same products.
"We are taking the products from the EDM division and using this as a launch for the ASP," said Davison, adding that the time is right for the ASP model to take off.
"Global enterprises have spent a lot of money on enterprise-wide solutions. Because of the skills shortage, it is better for them to concentrate on their core competencies and leave the applications to an ASP," she said.
Davison explained that ASPs have earned a poor reputation as a result of "bad business models" and easy entry. "Things are better now because there has been a huge shake-out and the market is turning over nicely," she said.
But Euan Davis, an analyst at IDC, was more cautious. "Starting out from document management applications is a good idea but it is still a long hard sell," he said.
Esteem claimed it will add applications to its portfolio when the time is right. "Esteem has strong links with Citrix and Microsoft, and we will be looking at Office and thin-client applications," said Davison.
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