By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2004-03-01 Print this article Print


The next step up the services ladder, outsourcing, gives companies a way to shift almost all support burden for a product to the vendor.

Although outsourcing an application is likely to be more expensive than running it in-house, outsourcing often gives companies the ability to focus on more business-critical initiatives.

Outsourcing can also provide better application reliability and availability because the vendor hosting the application has the best level of expertise in that application and can control the environment so that compatibility with hardware and other applications becomes less of an issue.

ASPs can likewise add some value from a service perspective because of the way they inherently handle front-line support for a product.

ASPs can differ considerably in the level of service they provide, however, with some projecting rather than guaranteeing uptime. Support hours and customization offerings can differ substantially as well, with few providers offering the level of customization and support hours available with off-the-shelf applications.

Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at michael_caton@ziffdavis.com.


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