To The Editor:

As Senior Editor Ara Trembly points out (“Going ASP: Do You Feel Lucky?”, July 30), deciding to outsource work to an application service provider (ASP) is an individual business decision and does not always benefit every company. While the column brought out many fine points, embarking on a successful relationship with an ASP doesn’t require luck. It requires research. When done well, comprehensive contracts with reliable ASPs can save businesses time and money, while keeping confidential data secure.

ASPs provide technicians that are specifically focused on each client’s software, hardware and network needs. This allows the client’s employees to focus on their jobs and their business’s profitability. Because ASPs market their services to others, their clients benefit from economies of scale. The companies don’t have to individually invest and develop the latest and greatest software and hardware; ASPs do that for them.

If companies are leery of ASPs’ reliability, they should try giving an ASP a small piece of their business to minimize the risk and see how outsourcing works for them. Companies should consider soliciting bids and proposals to see if the ASP’s capabilities match their requirements. Businesses should also write precise Service Level Agreements, so they have a say in how services are delivered. Our systems, for example, are guaranteed available to our customers’ desktops for 99% of the customer-negotiated time. These precautions can help create a profitable partnership for both the ASP and the company.

Ed Hartzell
CEO
Antares Management Solutions
Westlake, Ohio


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, October 8, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.


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