Aspen Grove was one of the first companies to provide applications over the Internet in 1996. It was also the first application service provider to implement a functional system for the legal market. Despite an apparent first mover advantage, the company has had limited growth and it has not expanded its customer base much beyond its original legal clients. With one of the three founders tied to the development of software and support for the company's partner and another managing the company's European division, they did not have the time they need to fully develop the company the way they originally envisioned. Because Aspen Grove did not use a proprietary database or other proprietary technology, the company soon found many new entrants competing against it. Services were charged on a per process basis, meaning that clients only paid for services that they used. While this appeared to be low risk solution for reducing information technology expenses, many potential clients were reluctant to trust sensitive legal information to a small Internet company. With many Internet companies failing or being acquired by larger companies, trust became even more critical.
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