Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Consulting services based on a qualitative market survey

Within work package 1, SFC has developed a European ASP database and conducted a qualitative survey on strategies and critical success factors of ASPs. These research results have been further exploited for the development of ASP business models and roadmaps for application service providers. In addition, SFC has performed continuous market monitoring under work package 6 which enhanced its state of the art knowledge of the sector. This monitoring included a second study carried out with ASP industry experts in summer 2003.

The ASP-NET project and the cooperation with the partners have also improved SFC’s understanding of technical issues concerning application, security and platforms.

The research results have been disseminated to raise the profile of SFC as an ASP industry consultant. At the same time industry associations have been won for cooperation with the aim to organise a large conference on software services. The conference took place in October 2003 helped to further enhance visibility of SFC with mayor industry players, industry representatives and the European Commission. The goal of the conference was to establish a European Association of Software Service Providers. The cooperation has continued after the event, resulting in a small survey carried out on behalf of the ASP industry and other supportive activities for the foundation of the Eruopean association. SFC aims to establish a long-term relationship, providing different kinds of services (Management consulting, market research, event management etc.) to the new association and its future members.

When conducting its surveys, SFC has established numerous personal contacts with large and small industry players, who are to be re-contacted with the aim to sell management consulting services.

There is still a risk that the ASP-sector does not develop as forecasted by large market research companies (IDC, Gartner). If the provision of application services over the Internet does not gain sufficient market share, the demand for consulting services will be very low. In this case ASP will be unattractive as a target market for SFC. In spring 2004, however, the signs are positive that ASP will have a good commercial year.

Still, in order to mitigate this potential risk, SFC has been monitoring the IT outsourcing market as a whole (ASP is just a part of it) and maintains its relations to this larger target group. With some additional research effort, SFC’s results from the ASP-NET project could be extended to the needs of this target group.

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