With so many B2B services stumbling, it's time for small biz to take protective measures

In March, 1999, when Brad Sobel was preparing to launch, timing was everything. The Santa Monica (Calif.)-based e-commerce site for hobbyists needed to be up and running in just 90 days. So Sobel hired an application-service provider (ASP). Pandesic LLC seemed to have it all: servers to host the Web site and software to process customer orders, ship products, and manage inventory. What's more, as a joint venture of Intel Corp. and the U.S. arm of German software giant SAP, Pandesic actually seemed to have legs.

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