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Online ASP Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Features & benefits
What is an Online ASP service?
Application Service Providers (ASPs) manage and deliver applications and data center services remotely through the Internet or private networks.

Why do companies use Online ASP services?
For several reasons, 1) companies can more quickly deploy a critical application by focusing solely on the implementation phase 2) by doing so they avoid major issues of hardware, software and middleware management, maintenance and upgrades 3) Online ASP leaves a company with only minor issues of network connectivity to enable Internet access to the web-based application 4) by minimizing the difficulty of managing applications, companies can focus on day to day business without distraction.

What are major infrastructure issues that can be avoided by using an Online ASP?
Large one-time capital expenditures for hardware and software are avoided when using an Online ASP. Also, software maintenance and upgrades are avoided altogether as they are managed by the Online ASP provider.

What are the major benefits from using an Online ASP?
Rapid application deployment is possible because the Online ASP has all infrastructure in place to support the roll out of any implementation. An Online ASP applies its extensive experience to provide best practices and the highest service levels for the delivery of web-based application services. This includes state-of-the- art security, backup, disaster recovery, and technical support.

Why are Online ASPs financially attractive?
The Online ASP model significantly decreases upfront fixed costs and lowers ongoing expenditures for hardware, applications, and application and systems management. As such, an internal application administrator, or other evaluators, can test "test" a new software application without disrupting their IT resources or daily work.

What kinds of customers use application services from an ASP?
Initially, Online ASP was thought to be a solution for small and midmarket businesses. However, the most dramatic growth in the Online ASP market has occurred among divisions and departments of much larger companies. Large companies often decide to use an Online ASP when they need to rapidly deploy an application. Other times, large companies will use the Online ASP experience to evaluate an application online before purchasing a software license.

How reliable is the service from an Online ASP?
When considering the case of a larger or midmarket firm with many employees using the system from remote locations, an Online ASP service will be as or more reliable than if the company had hosted the application on its own network. Only companies with extensive experience with web-based applications will be able to match the service performance levels of an Online ASP service provider.

How much does service cost from an ASP?
Costs and service levels vary widely according to the types of applications and services provided. Some studies have indicated that by leasing an application from an ASP, customers save between 33% and 53% over purchasing and managing the hardware and software for the application themselves.

What about customized versions of an application through Online ASP?
As with all software customization, Online ASP can deliver a customized application but needs to provide special care for maintenance and support. Applications that require a high degree of customization generally require special dedicated Online ASP arrangements to ensure smooth upgrades and maintenance.