The goal of an ASP business is to reduce the cost of software distribution and maintenance. Using a client/server model (often Web-based), network software can be installed in a centrally-controlled place and hosted - accessed by the customers over remote links. This method to providing software solutions is sometimes called the software as a service (SaaS) approach.
Common ASP ApplicationsThese classes of network applications are often hosted by ASPs:
- human resources (accounting and payroll)
- sales (sales force automation)
- enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- office and workgroup productivity tools
Networking Issues for Application Service ProvidersA successful ASP must have robust technology for:
- network security - protecting the business data flowing through the network
- network monitoring and troubleshooting - ensuring the hosted applications remaining running. Often, ASPs will be under contract to meet network uptime and performance goals.