In contrast with the somewhat depressing tone of my last post (Gloomy times for SaaS collaboration vendors), it’s good to see UK SaaS collaboration vendor Asite being upbeat. The company has just upgraded its platform with its Summer 09 release, which also involves a major upgrade to the Asite website (incorporating a significant amount of social media capability). And Asite has also issued a trading update based on (unaudited) figures for the year to 31 December 2008 that show the company’s revenues continuing to grow, despite suffering a hit in the second half of the year.
The new website now features an ‘Interactive Community area‘ with blogs, discussion forums,
a wiki and Twitter feeds. I really have to congratulate Asite on this move. It is something that I wanted to deliver while I was BIW Technologies but development priorities there were more focused on expanding the capabilities of the core system (I did, however, manage to establish a BIW blog, set up an RSS news feed and start a BIW Twitter feed).
As I write on a Saturday afternoon, the Asite community is a little light on content, but as most UK users return to work on Monday morning, hopefully the site will soon begin to feature good levels of interaction between community members. Asite CEO Tony Ryan has written the first blog entry welcoming users to the new site (a development he said was coming “shortly” a year ago – see post), while marketing manager Karl Williams has started seeding the discussion forum with some content.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the Asite Community develops and to see what impact (if any) this has on its relationships with its user community and other stakeholders.
The Asite trading update shows gross revenues for 2008 up 14% to £1.89m from £1.658m in 2007 (see Asite finally returns to growth), with pre-tax losses more than halved, down to £0.233m from £0.518m. Based on the half-year figures announced last September (see Asite continues ascent) – covering a period before the global financial crisis really began to cripple the AEC market – I had anticipated that Asite might have broken even, but the healthy growth seen in the first six months (29%) clearly could not be sustained over the remainder of the year.
My gloomy forecasts in the previous post therefore appear to be justified. Over time, I expect the other UK vendors to report similarly difficult times.