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Application Services Provision Model

Beyond desktop and mainframe computing, advent of web technologies and resulting shared applications are creating new ways to meet some or almost all aspects of information technology (IT) needs. Concept of application service provision has come a long way since it first came on the scene in the late 1990s? Originally, the idea of virtual cooperation and application sharing came from Bill Davidow, a fellow venture capitalist and entrepreneur. What Bill foresaw as the future of computing is already in practice; a new IT business model. Hewlett-Packard and Qwest are among the pioneers for providing application services. Microsoft also allows some companies to offer its Back Office products, including SQL Server, Exchange and Windows NT Server on a rental, pay-as-you-use basis.

Hi-tech developments and changes at a fast rate are moving towards convergence of the software, information, technology carriers, and computer engineering. Result: IT structural designs are shifting from desktop and mainframe environments towards Internet based structures. Similarly, software applications are altering from made to order and separately owned solutions towards pre-packaged and Web based solutions. It is in this context that ASP business model is getting more interest as a hot trend.

IT business model that offers end users – small and large businesses, government organizations, non-profits, and membership organizations even individuals — an access to applications and services over the Internet is known as application service provider (ASP – not to be mixed with Active Server Pages. It also is an abbreviation of as soon as possible). It is sometime called software-as-a-service, on-demand computing, apps-on-tap or utility computing.

Typically, the applications are deployed by a third party that hosts, manages, updates software based services and solutions and distributes to clients from a central location. XML and HTML processes allow the clients to interact with the software. Sometime, ASP also rent out the server hardware and the network. What is more, many ASPs, particularly enterprise ASPs, have now started offering on site solutions in which the relevant hardware, software and function remain on the customer’s site.

Beyond desktop and mainframe computing, advent of web technologies and resulting shared applications are creating new ways to meet some or almost all aspects of information technology (IT) needs. Concept of application service provision has come a long way since it first came on the scene in the late 1990s? Originally, the idea of virtual cooperation and application sharing came from Bill Davidow, a fellow venture capitalist and entrepreneur. What Bill foresaw as the future of computing is already in practice; a new IT business model. Hewlett-Packard and Qwest are among the pioneers for providing application services. Microsoft also allows some companies to offer its Back Office products, including SQL Server, Exchange and Windows NT Server on a rental, pay-as-you-use basis.

Hi-tech developments and changes at a fast rate are moving towards convergence of the software, information, technology carriers, and computer engineering. Result: IT structural designs are shifting from desktop and mainframe environments towards Internet based structures. Similarly, software applications are altering from made to order and separately owned solutions towards pre-packaged and Web based solutions. It is in this context that ASP business model is getting more interest as a hot trend.

IT business model that offers end users – small and large businesses, government organizations, non-profits, and membership organizations even individuals — an access to applications and services over the Internet is known as application service provider (ASP – not to be mixed with Active Server Pages. It also is an abbreviation of as soon as possible). It is sometime called software-as-a-service, on-demand computing, apps-on-tap or utility computing.

Typically, the applications are deployed by a third party that hosts, manages, updates software based services and solutions and distributes to clients from a central location. XML and HTML processes allow the clients to interact with the software. Sometime, ASP also rent out the server hardware and the network. What is more, many ASPs, particularly enterprise ASPs, have now started offering on site solutions in which the relevant hardware, software and function remain on the customer’s site.

Quick Books Hosting – How to Chose the Right Hosted Quick Books Application Service Provider

Small and medium business, as well as CPA’s, are increasingly recognizing the benefits of Quick Books Hosting, though many among them do not have a perfect idea about the exact nature of benefit that this hosting service bring to them. More than ever there is a lot of confusion regarding the offerings made by various Application Service providers.

Hence a look at the nature of benefits that Quick Books Hosting services providers brings with regards to your Bookkeeping efforts, and also variations in the offerings made by a number of Hosted service Providers is worthwhile. I have been beset with the question of analyzing how exactly we should approach the decision making process of choosing an Application Service Provider particularly in the context of Quick Books hosting.

Now, first thing first. You must be well conversant with the likely benefits accruing to you, if you are going for Quick Books Hosting. Hosted Quick Books are much faster than other local network access, as here the facility of terminal servers is available. Here the local PC or the terminal runs a exact copy of your Quick Books version stored on the servers and this allows your application to run at a much faster speed that otherwise. One thing that has to be noted is that terminal speed is proportional to the server speed and hence maximum server speed is desirable.

Quick Books Hosting also allows you to have the same copy of the software for different users instead of customizing individually for all of them. Also Quick Books Hosting allows you a multi user mode wherein various users of the program can access the program at the same time and make necessary changes. This saves a lot of their time as now they don’t have to meet personally to exchange files.

But still the most important aspect of the hosted environment must be the terminal support provided by the Application Service Provider. An efficient and prompt support requires that the support team is not only well qualified but also have a vast experience in dealing with the nature of problems arising during the process. Besides there should be a constant monitoring of the servers for possible troubles.

It is also important to identify which programs are supported at the terminal servers. If a provider runs a limited number of these, difficulties for the clients definitely arise. Further there are a number of Add-on that helps customizing the software for specific bookkeeping purposes. You must know the types of add on supported by a particular Application Service provider.

Lastly one of the most import ant factors is the cost of the service . Many service providers charges depending upon number of users of the hosted service per month. Some charge installation charges as well and one important thing before hiring a services provider is to ask them whether they are charging for troubleshooting. This way you will end up paying a lot more than what you had intended or what the provider had promised. So we must be wary of this cost escalation. Besides some hosting service providers charge you less if you have requirement for more users and this may save lot of your money.

So the important consideration in hiring Hosted Quick Books Provider is speed, cost, number of add- on support, technical expertise for support services and the programs supported at the terminal server. Now I will analyze the service offering by Quick Books Hosting market players to help you choose the right one.

As far as the per user charges are considered The average market rate comes at with $49. 99 /month and it comes with various conditionality with extra charges for additional services. But the same services is available at lower prices of $29 per month. Not only this initial price variants, the charges may dramatically decrease if you subscribe for more number of users. Thus if you go for large number of user subscriptions , some market leaders in Hosted Quick Books domain can charge as low as $19 per user per month. Further there may be available free trials starting from 7 days to as much as one month.

Now something about the Add- on that can be integrated with Quick Books. The user must ascertain whether their requirement is being met by the service provider. Some Hosted Quick Books providers do not support Add-on while others may host it free for you . Add-on hosting along with Quick Books hosting makes the work of Bookkeeping for specific purposes really easy. In a nutshell it saves you the trouble of multiple entries to your book keeping process as the data in Quick Books can be integrated with other software, say, preparing online Billing.

CPA’s work becomes more easy if, not only Quick Books, but also many other related applications, such as Tax Software hosting can also be provided by the same service provider. But not many Hosted service providers do so. This can really make your work easy as you have now to deal with only one service provider.

The kind of support provided by these hosting Service providers is of crucial importance. Support is available either through telephone or mail. But one thing to note is that whether this support is available on week days and also the time it takes to provide you the support once you have intimated them. Also you have to see if you are being charged extra for the support services. Normally the support services comes included with the Quick Books Hosting.

I have studied the services of many Hosted Quick Books providers and it will be a better idea to visit one of the sites to know everything about their offerings and prices. Better still call their support team and get a first hand idea about their whole service.

As a long time technology consultant, I would suggest that you to make a detailed inquiry about these service providers before choosing them. Best way for this is to interact with Quick books Hosting Service provider directly and clearly ask about all the issues I have raised ,specially whether there are any hidden cost involved or not.

Tips for Choosing an IT Managed Service Provider

The number of businesses that don’t outsource IT needs grows slimmer by the month. Unlike a decade ago, when delegating network functions to a managed service provider was often done on as-needed basis, businesses have become proactive about using an IT managed service provider to help improve the bottom line. However, before visions of cost savings start dancing in its head, a business should focus on choosing a managed service provider that has the specialization, experience, and reputation to properly handle the functions it needs to outsource.

Specialization

The world of information technology is one of compartmentalization. Although a computer network is the sum of its parts, most infotech companies don’t possess expertise in each discipline of information technology. Some specialize in virtualization and web-based applications, others emphasize in network monitoring and security systems, and the list could go on. For customers, the key is to choose an entity that specializes in the function(s) they need to outsource. Because many infotech companies offer more than one type of assistance, it helps to evaluate their specialization by determining where their core competencies lie.

Experience

Asking a company where its competencies lie may not yield a straightforward answer. After all, no business wants to seem as if some of its offerings are more desirable than others. If you unsure of where a company’s specialties lie, ask it which services it has offered the longest. Most businesses specialize in disciplines in which they have the most experience, as experience naturally leads to specialization. While a managed service provider needn’t have years of experience in a discipline to practice it well, a wealth of experience demonstrates something important: for years, customers have found that the company practice the discipline proficiently.

Reputation

Because companies are poor judges of their own reputation, you should evaluate an IT managed service provider based on what its references and record at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) indicate. Because even the worst businesses can have a few good references, you should request to speak with more references than a company originally offers – preferably a total of eight. Examining the BBB record of a company will give you an insight into how it treats customers. If an entity has unresolved complaints on its record, this means that some its customers feel they were mistreated, and have never had the problem made right

Conclusion

Before you outsource to an IT managed service provider, it should determine whether the business has the specialization, experience, and reputation to handle the job. This can be done by speaking with the entity directly, consulting its references, and evaluating its BBB record.