has announced a deal with BUY.COM to provide technical support for the Internet
Service911.com's Application Service Provider (ASP) model, BUY.COM's new Technical
Service Center offers an array of support options including:
than 5,000 streaming how-to tutorials and videos
Easy-to-find product support information on 18,000 products
technical support via e-mail
multi-vendor/multi-product knowledge library with technical documentation, industry
articles, and product reviews
Fee-based installation and on-site repair services
AT&T announced development plans for a network architecture to support Application
Service Providers (See our article: "AT&T's Ecosphere"). To develop the "Ecosphere"
AT&T has partnered with industry giants such as Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems,
and Hewlett-Packard. The move is indicative of an emerging trend: Companies
partnering with "like" technology to create market synergy.
big players are not the only ones coming together. On January 27, 2000 Breakaway
Technology announced its purchase of Eggrock Partners for $250 million in stock.
The deal unites a technology systems integrator with an Application Service
Provider model. Service911.com and BUY.COM's relationship is another example
of how companies are using ASP models to support business needs.
In August of 1999, IDC reported spending in the ASP space could reach 2 billion
by 2003. In October 1999, Dataquest predicted the entire ASP market would reach
22.7 billion by 2003. While groups attempt to define the size and evolution
of the market, one message is clear; the Application Service Provider market
is growing. As a result we expect to see increased alliances and partnerships
as companies discover cost effective means to support their businesses.
Service911.com announcement represents another positive endorsement for the
ASP model. Similar solution providers could use the release as an additional
"arrow in the quiver." By leveraging the Service911.com/BUY.COM deal as a success
story, ASPs might show potential clients how remotely hosted applications can
benefit their businesses.
Considering ASP solutions:
you are considering outsourcing services or applications via the Internet, shop
around. It seems there are ASP solutions for everything. From e-mail to Human
Resources to complete Enterprise Resource Planning solutions, there are ASPs
willing to help.
Avoid the hype by asking critical questions. Evaluate how the ASP will benefit
your organization. Investigate the depth of application and hosting knowledge
they report. Obtain the number of "in-house" representatives available to you.
Be sure to clarify how and when these "expert" resources are available to you
and your customers. Also, keep in mind current bandwidth issues in relation
to your future traffic estimates.
the Application Service Provider model suits your needs, use the information
it provides to compare and identify unique offerings. The result may be a strong
ASP partnership that adds synergy to your business .