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BUY.COM Called "911" For Help

Written By: A. Turner
Published On: February 25 2000

Event Summary

Service911.com has announced a deal with BUY.COM to provide technical support for the Internet retailer.

Using Service911.com's Application Service Provider (ASP) model, BUY.COM's new Technical Service Center offers an array of support options including:

More than 5,000 streaming how-to tutorials and videos

Easy-to-find product support information on 18,000 products

Free technical support via e-mail

A multi-vendor/multi-product knowledge library with technical documentation, industry articles, and product reviews

Fee-based installation and on-site repair services

Market Impact

Recently 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.

The 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.

User Recommendations

ASP's:

The 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.

Companies Considering ASP solutions:

If 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.

If 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 .

 

 
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