- Are You Comfortable with the ASP's Approach to Major Data Center Issues Such as Backup, Disaster-Proofing, and Data and Physical Security?
- Can the ASP Provide the Type of Secure Broadband Network that Best Suits Your Requirements?
- Is the ASP's IT Infrastructure Scalable Enough to Accommodate Your Company's Growth or Variations in Activity?
- Do You Prefer that an Outside Party Remotely Monitor All the ASP's Facilities (Such as Data Centers) and Security Equipment (Such as Firewalls)?
- Do You Require that the Application You Lease Be Extensively Customized?
- Do You Need Accelerated Deployment of the Hosted Application?
- Which, If Any, of these Hosted Enabling Technologies Do You Need, and Why?
- What Extent of Technical Support and Customer Service Do You Require?
- Which ASP Pricing Model Best Meets Your Company's Activity Patterns—Does the ASP Offer that Model?
- Does the ASP's Standard Service Level Agreement (SLA) Meet Your Needs? If Not, Will the ASP Change It, and How Much Does It Charge to Change It?
7. Which, If Any, of these Hosted Enabling Technologies Do You Need, and Why?
VPNs, advanced storage services, enterprise portal or wireless services? An ASP often outsources all of these services, except an enterprise portal to supporting providers. Having addressed Issue 2, you already know whether you need a VPN.
If you require an especially fast access to your data, you may require advanced storage in the form of a Storage Area Network (SAN). These networks are linked by fiber-channel for faster base throughput, and operate independently of primary computer networks so data can be backed up and transferred between SAN-based storage devices without passing over primary networks in which congestion can slow transfer times. If an ASP does not own a SAN, you might request it use a Storage Service Provider (SSP). SSPs lease both high-powered storage infrastructure and personnel to ASPs; and typically design, implement, and operate the storage solution.
Increasingly, ASPs are using portal interfaces to provision and troubleshoot their hosted applications. Customers can download upgrades, for instance, as well as submit trouble tickets via the portal. Some ASPs even lease the portal to let customers jump between applications without closing one down and starting another up.
Most ASPs offering wireless services actually outsource them to Wireless ASPs (WASPs). WASPs host custom wireless applications that they have developed, or wireless-enable existing installed or hosted applications.