ASP | Application Service Provider

ASP | Application Service Provider

What Is ASP or Application Service Provider?

An application service provider (also called application service provider, or ASP, or application service provider in English or ASP) is a company that provides software and IT services to its customers through a network (Internet General).

The greatest value of this model is to provide access to specific applications (such as a medical billing program) using a standard protocol such as HTTP. The notion of software as a service will be used to replace the ASP (2007).

The ASP can be considered indirect descendant of “service bureau” of the 1960s and 1970s, in that their primary purpose is to enable clients to practice on outsourcing specific applications, and so enable them to refocus their attention their first jobs. The purpose of these offices was to associate the concept of the computer tool, which was initially proposed by John McCarthy during a presentation at MIT in.

The ASP model: advantages and disadvantages

The software application installed on the computer system vendor is accessible by the user through a web browser or through a client software provided by the seller. The client software can also interface with the server using the API and / or a language of communication generally based on XML. These APIs can also be used by software developed internally to access different types of services or data.

Benefits of using the ASP

There are a number of advantages to this approach including:

  • The ASP model enables rapid deployment in the enterprise, saving time and cost associated with implementing a technical infrastructure (servers, network software, database, etc.);
  • The problems of integration of the application on the client architecture is to some extent eliminated. Often, however, that one wishes to create software bridges to exchange data automatically between the ASP and the Customer Information System;
  • Other benefits can be taken into consideration, but rather approaches are “packaged software” in general, as the ASP:
  1. The cost of applications is broken on many clients;
  2. The vendor acquires greater experience from multiple clients and can thus benefit of its applications;

The application is not installed on a client PC, and, therefore, is accessible from any point connected to the Internet worldwide from a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari for example).

Disadvantages of using ASP

We can also note a number of disadvantages:

  • The customer must agree to entrust its ASP business critical data, as the basis of its employees (even if only for authentication control), Customer databases, Products, Suppliers, etc.
  • Customers must accept a general solution provided by the ASP, which is configurable to match as many customers as possible, but that may not fit precisely to their system (same problem as ERP or LES). Only the largest customers can influence on development decisions;
  • The client must have confidence in its ASP to provide critical information about its work. The ASP is also responsible for business-critical features of its customers. They have no hands on the system in case of malfunction;
  • Integration with other client systems can be problematic (recurring problem in computer science);
  • In terms of availability, the supplier must have an availability rate of close to 100%. Furthermore, this availability is tied to the availability of network link between the client and the ASP. ;
  • The remote operation of the application provides a transit time of more data in local operation. This time can be offset by a smaller processing time through the use of more powerful servers and more optimized.

Types of ASP providers

There are typically four types of businesses ASP:

  • The ASP or functional specialist: Provides an application alone, as the process of payment by credit card;
  • The ASP Vertical: provides a solution as a package for a specific customer type such as dentists;
  • The ASP Business: Provides a full spectrum of solutions;
  • The ASP Local: provides services to SMEs in a limited geographical area;

Types of ASP which can be added:

  • The ASP volume as Senthil’s

Some analysts identify the amount of ASP as a fifth type. It is simply a specialist ASP that offers packaged solutions at low cost via their own website. PayPal was an example of this type.

In addition to these types of businesses, some large companies in various lines of business (like IBM), use the ASP concept as a business model particularly applicable to specific customers.

Examples of ASP applications

In early 2005, a wide range of applications have become available to the public through the ASP model. There are free and simple applications such as online calendars from Yahoo and Google.

Other providers offer to host any application in ASP mode.

Economics of ASP

The importance of this market is reflected by its size: in early 2003, estimates the market for the United States of America lay between 1.5 and 4 billion dollars.

Online applications are used on demand in 2006 in most business processes, including human resources, sales, marketing and customer relations. However, significant differences were noted also by size of companies interviewed. Thus, it appears that:

  • Applications own procurement and human resources are more prevalent in firms with more than 1,000 employees;
  • While those relating to the sale, marketing and customer relations, finance and corporate communications seem to gather more votes from the SOHO and SME.

In terms of industries, some distinctions are also highlighted:

  • Applications for purchases are more dominant in the industry and the transportation and logistics;
  • These activating processes of sales, marketing and customer relations have a strong presence in the areas of distribution, information technology and telecommunications, but also in transport and logistics;
  • Online applications at the request of human resource for their part are present relatively homogeneously in all sectors studied.

Study: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The text is available under the Creative Commons.

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