Watching the ASP marketplace evolve is synonymous to watching a kaleidoscope against the noonday sun: As new colorful companies emerges, some disappear, and still others reshape themselves. Nearly all of them are first focusing on the number of employees in a company as primary segmentation criteria.
Because the business model for most ASPs starts with a single perWeb-site charge for creating an e-marketing presence to a specific per-seat charge for e-operations applications, this segmentation is pervasive throughout the industry. With slight variations in the breakout of employees, these classes give ASPs the insights needed for creating entirely new product strategies by market served. The need for accurately gauging the needs in each of these areas is typically accomplished through focus groups and customer surveys sponsored by ASPs.
Secondary segmentation is from the standpoint of early adopters, mainstream users, late adopters, and laggards. Clearly, customers in the early adopter area dominate the ASP arena.
A third perspective on segmentation is on technology preferences. Admittedly, this is not often used because the market is still maturing. Yet there are certain customers who are focused on scalability and security, have a staff of people who can handle Java programming (in larger corporations), or have a series of Notes applications internally already. This is one of the evolving segmentation criteria, which will develop over time as the market stabilizes.