No more annoying calls at dinnertime!

Court lets ‘do-not-call’ list go forward.

In this fast-paced world, I have to admit that having dinner with my family is sacred time. During dinnertime, the last thing we want is a seemingly endless, annoying barrage of telemarketing calls. We never really had a problem until we moved from the city to the suburbs and got on every credit card list known to man due to our new mortgage. Our name and phone number spread like a bad computer virus. We got 3-4 calls a night for the first few months. The worst calls were the computer-dialed ones which left long-winded messages on our answering machine. So when www.donotcall.gov became available, we were one of the first to sign up. 51 million numbers have been registered since then.

The Telemarketing Services Association is claiming that the registry is a violation of their free speech. I say screw their free speech. The telemarketers’ calls are an obvious invasion of our privacy. I am glad that the judges had the sense to rule in favor of our personal privacy over the telemarketers’ economic interests. Yes, there are exclusions as to who can call, but shouldn’t everyone have the right to a sacred family dinner? Who knows what will happen in the appeal by the telemarketers, but it is satisfying to know that one day in the not too distant future, there just may be no more annoying calls. Now how about that anti-spam list?

Is the ASP Model Back

Siebel and IBM team on hosted CRM service

It feels like 1999 again when the ASP (application service provider) business model was all the rage. Why is Siebel trying this again when their most recent foray was a complete disaster? Bottom line: Salesforce.com is eating their lunch. Siebel’s enterprise license revenue model is coming under real pressure as large enterprises are getting tired of spending millions of dollars upfront with no real ROI.

Could this be the return of the ASP model? In the old days, the promise and hype of many ASPs were as high as their burn rates. A number of these companies poured tens of millions of dollars into infrastructures that only had a handful of customers. The end result for most was disastrous. Despite the many failures, I am conjecturing that the ASP will be back in a BIG WAY for the following reasons: tight budgets, increased comfort level of customers to have data offsite, broadband connections allow for always-on access, and vendors with right-sized business models designed to make a profit. When and if the capital markets return, let’s see how these companies perform.