Prominent CEOs Jumping Ship to Start ASPs

One indicator of a new industry's promise is the number of established CEOs and other leaders that jump ship to take a chance in a new marketplace. By that indicator, the application service provider (ASP) market is stunningly promising. Former Novell CEO Ray Noorda, for example, has created an ASP called Center 7, which Computer Associates recently named one of its ASPs of choice. Noorda has pumped millions of dollars into Center 7 to equip it with the latest technology and has integrated satellite company Helius, which indicates that he might have global ambitions for the ASP. Center 7, which is set to debut this summer, will probably be the first Linux-based ASP. Graham Clark, former head the Microsoft ASP effort, is cofounder and CEO of an ASP called Baport. Clark, who is heavily invested in XML, is building applications from the ground up for the application-hosting market. He has reportedly boasted that his specially-designed XML applications will be significantly more efficient than adapted standard applications. Keng Lim, once head of enterprise server software manufacturer Kiva Software, left to found the e-commerce ASP Escalate. Escalate offers a complete front-to-back package, everything from site design to transaction processing and back-end fulfillment. Explaining his interest, Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO and a major Escalate backer, cited “businesses that are aimed at markets that are broad and deep. Escalate has shown the ability to bring medium-sized business up real quick.” Escalate recently signed technology alliances with Sun Microsystems, VeriSign, and GlobalCenter to establish the infrastructure it needs to provide e-commerce hosting.

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