Judy Johnson, FieldCentrix, Irvine, CA
Rent software by the month? Access software over the internet while a company somewhere-anywhere-in the world handles all the system administration, upgrades, and support? From The Wall Street Journal to Network World, business people and technologists are talking about application service providers (ASPs), the newest delivery model for distributing software applications. According to industry analysts, ASPs offer a win-win for users and application and network service vendors alike. Advantages for users include a 20-30% reduction in up-front IT costs, quicker software implementation, and an earlier return on investment. Application and network vendors benefit from greater customer exposure, ongoing revenue, and an ability to leverage competency in applications development expertise. Despite recent publicity, many people are still unaware of what an ASP is and what its potential service benefits are.