by John Madden
To allow application service providers to offer usage-based pricing for Web-based applications, Xevo Corp. has
rolled out its ASP Workbench software that enables complex provisioning and metering.
Rick Hronicek, CEO and president of the Marlboro, Mass., company, said ASP Workbench is a way to enforce and
audit service-level agreements between ASPs, their delivery partners and customers, as well as provision applications
and resources to customers.
"Right now, there is nothing that can measure how much the software is being used," Hronicek said.
Pricing for the product varies depending on customization.
Amy Mizoras, an analyst at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass., said one impediment to growth in
the ASP space is "the limitation in service management. For the most part, there is not one complete integrated
solution." Xevo's product addresses that issue, Mizoras said.
FutureLink Corp., an ASP based in Irvine, Calif., was a beta tester for ASP Workbench. Tony Hill, director of
product management, said that in addition to delivering more flexible options to customers, the tool will make
his company more efficient.
Even if an ASP's customers are not interested in usage-based pricing, Mizoras said that "it's probably
really good for the ASP to track usage."
Indeed, other vendors, such as Sphera Corp. and Ensim Corp., are appealing to service providers by offering
service automation packages that have provisioning and reporting features.
But Mizoras cautioned that for some customers, the change to usage-based pricing from an easier-to-manage per-month
model could be "too much, too soon. The ASP industry itself is so nascent."