Evaluating Your ASP Options
Is an application service provider (ASP) model right for your business? Check out this issue's ASP Resource Guide to gain a better understanding of what the market has to offer.
Finding the right information about technology for your business is like trying to find a matching pair of socks in a laundry basket. You reach in and fish around for socks that will match up. But, many of your "finds" don't work out and get thrown back into the pile. Here at Corry Publishing we understand how difficult it can be to locate appropriate information about new technologies. That's why we offer informational guides as supplements to our publications: Business Solutions, Integrated Solutions, and Integrated Solutions for Retailers. In 2001, we will publish over 18 guides on hot topics such as e-business, customer relationship management (CRM), wireless, business intelligence, and supply chain management (SCM).
ASP: The Jury Is Still Out
Included with this issue of Business Solutions is our first guide to application service providers (ASPs). An ASP is a company that rents software to customers and delivers the application through the Internet. The customer pays an ASP a fee to gain access to the software.
For the last two years, the ASP concept has garnered a lot of attention in the information technology (IT) community. The ASP model is attractive because it eliminates much of a company's IT responsibilities for its software applications. However, like any new technology, ASP, is still in an early adopter phase. Many companies are waiting for more widespread use of ASPs, before diving into this arena. In fact, an IDC survey of 400 top U.S. executives found that only 6% had detailed knowledge about ASPs.
Evaluating ASP On A Case-By-Case Basis
The uncertainty of the ASP market is evident when you look at the analysts' predictions for growth. GartnerGroup's Dataquest predicts that industry revenue will reach $25 billion in 2004, while IDC conservatively forecasts $7.8 billion. But what does all of this mean for today's businesses?
Forget the ASP promoters and naysayers; both end user and channel companies need to be looking at ASP technology on an individual basis. This guide offers listings from all types of software providers involved with ASP. Some of them include accounting and finance, CRM, document management, e-business, and SCM software providers.
ASP At Work Today
We've also profiled some end user companies who are using ASPs and some of the channel companies who helped implement the technology. Our cover feature examines how ASP LINQware.com partnered with application infrastructure provider (AIP) Qwest. The pair are hosting LoanCity.com's applications for its national network of mortgage brokers. Also in this issue, HUON, a global insurance provider, worked with an integrator, The Castle Group, to implement an ASP model from Salesnet as its sales management solution. And, ASP On-Line Imaging Services LLC enabled the remote offices of the Pacesetter Corp., a replacement windows manufacturer, to have access to imaged documents.
Resources For ASP Information
Beyond this guide, there are other resources available to keep you abreast of ASP happenings. In every issue, Business Solutions features ASP articles such as VAR features, installation reviews, product showcases, and guest opinions. In addition, ASP information is available at your fingertips through the Internet resources. Check out the sites of industry organizations such as the ASP Consortium and the Solution Provider Institute. Other informational Web sites include www.searchasp.com and www.aspregistry.com. Upcoming ASP trade shows/events include the ASP World Forum, Jan. 10; ASP Business Strategies Summit, Jan. 24; and the ASP Channel Conference – II, Feb. 13-14. With tools like these, you should be able to take a closer look at ASPs' viability for your business.