Crib sheet: ASPs

ASP stands for Application Service Provider. It is a company
that delivers and supports an application to a client, which typically runs from
a server at the ASP’s base.

The ASP will design the application around a company’s needs
and it can then be accessed by the client using a Wide Area Network (WAN),
intranet or the Internet. A good example of an ASP in the HR sector is
Eurobenefits.com, which will install a customised benefits management system
that can be accessed by staff via the Internet.

The ASP does all the difficult work and the user should be
left with a seamless, easy-to-use interface. Customer relationship management
and enterprise resource planning systems are other typical applications which
can be outsourced to an ASP. Two variations of ASP are also creeping into the
vernacular: WASP (Wireless Application Service Provider), which utilises
wireless technology for the application; and MASP (Multiple Application Service
Provider), which can integrate multiple-point applications.

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