One of the SaaS series: Introduction to the predecessor ASP of SaaS

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags hosting server hosting what is asp

1. Introduction

The future will be increasingly unpredictable, which is one of the most challenging aspects of the new economy. Changes in business and technology are changing, either as a threat to be protected or as an opportunity to be welcomed.

________martin Fowler & Jim Highsmith, "The Agile Manifesto"

"Superseding, the world's new people to drive the old man," said the rapid development of human society, like the software industry, the development of the family is changing rapidly. The development of the software industry in the life cycle as human society also experienced several different classes.

2. The direction of software development

2.1 Four stages of software development

L Phase I: Project-type development phase

The earliest software development is based on a specific project, the project by the customer (including the task assigned by the superior department) to put forward specific requirements, in a, b both parties to contract the way to agree on development costs, development time and acceptance criteria after the development of the party to work overtime to complete the task agreed to the contract. An important feature of this phase is the user's needs are very clear, the development of software is also used for specific users.

L Phase II: Packaged software development phase

The project development phase is to develop a specific project for a customer that is one-to-one. Obviously, as a software company experienced a large number of development projects, in order to reduce development costs, maximize the use of previous work, no longer satisfied with their own development of a software can only serve a customer, it would like a software to maximize the service to multiple users. Even for different project requirements, new projects can be completed with the proper modification and configuration of the original similar software. Or on the basis of this project, in the development of the design to fully consider the extensibility and applicability of the product development model to develop the project, and even do not need the customer to put forward the project requirements, research and development to meet the needs of a group of users. As a result, software companies have previously developed projects through the combination and modification to become a new product to buy a similar demand for users. This is a packaged software development phase. An important feature of this phase is that the project is not changed for the product and sold to the customer on a large scale. This kind of service fact is more than a pair. The most typical of this model is UF's financial software.

L Phase III: platform-based software development phase

Package-type software development stage to make the project product, quickly expanded a number of software enterprises. But this packaged software quickly fails to meet the new needs of users. With the rapid change and development of the information age, the needs of users are varied, strange and changeable. Through the configuration to achieve a simple change completely can not meet the user's new requirements, then there is a "platform" development model. Some software enterprises through the framework of their own platform to achieve business system development is simple and efficient. This platform can put some common parts such as authority management, process definition, other business systems based on this platform development, only need to consider their own business and do not need to care about other common parts. With their own platform, such as having their own performance of the big stage, you can play on this stage, play a wonderful show again. This is the current and even the next 35 years of hot development mode. The most typical of this model is SAP.

Phase IV: Social software development phase

Platform-based software development is prevalent today, there are many problems, that is, the maintenance cost of software is getting bigger. The software cannot be produced in large-scale factory-style. The fact, how like the water manufacturers, manufacturers of purified water through the user installed water pipe, in the user need only to twist open the water pipe switch, the flow of white rushing out, this service home business model has long been the dream of software manufacturers. The fact that, as early as the 1980s, the United States has been studying a service through the online use of software to arouse widespread concern in the world. After a period of time, ASP services, software leasing, monthly rental, hosting, online software is flooded with the software world, monthly-Rent CRM, online oa, managed-type ERP makes people feel fresh. A closer look, you will feel that this service-oriented software business model is not only refreshing, but it brings a revolution in the software industry! This new software service model is called ASP, software manufacturers no longer go to the customer tailoring, and do not have to customer that to install software, software operators have set up the server, Install the software and send the software information to your home over the Internet. Customers through the service provider's website to understand how much money they spend, can get how many application features of software services, and through the online trial, to determine the basis for their own needs, purchase services, and through the Internet to use this service.

According to Dataquest, the global ASP market in 1999 was about $2.7 billion, 3 times times the 1998-year scale. Increased to $22.7 billion by 2003. IDC, a market research firm, said in a 2003 study that the ASP market in the United States had reached $2 billion trillion. Bullish on this trend, Microsoft invested $7.5 million in usweb/cks, the development of host-style application software; HP is aggressively promoting its e-service services, and Oracle and Netscape also announce "rental" applications to businesses ranging from financial analysis tools to e-commerce Web servers. At this time the ASP is really a red hot day.

However, this is only a flash in the pan, due to the technical network speed in particular, coupled with security issues, ASP has not carried forward, many engaged in this aspect of the development and operation of software vendors halfway. Only a small number of macro-thick enterprises to arch this big flag all the way to the hard way to today. In China, early-stage ASP software vendors failed to count.

Until 2008, with Microsoft's breakthrough in this area, a new software business model called SaaS was put forward, and the market was renewed, with many software companies devoting their energies to this, from software development to business models. Of course, the development of any thing has a process, the platform of software development should have 35 years of life cycle. A truly large-scale SaaS model will emerge after 35 years. The advent of this era is the stage of the development of social software. It is obvious who first transformed, who was the first to hold on to SaaS Technology, who was the first to occupy the market, who is the biggest profit. So, has been engaged in online services Ali software threatened to rely on this beat UF, it is not impossible.

Of course, we have to understand the ASP before we can hold on to the SaaS technology. So, what exactly is an ASP?

2.2 The change of the new era informationization

With the development of the Times, the concept of user information has also undergone a great change, users are no longer passively receive information, it is no longer for information and information, but through the relevant information technology and tools to enhance their comprehensive competitive power.

• Five major changes in user requirements

² Reduce IT investment risk

² ability to increase on-demand response

² SMEs gradually become the main investment

² start to recognize IT outsourcing

² attaches great importance to the interactivity of software

The five major changes in the software industry

The popularization of ²internet and the rise of Web2.0

²soa concept and the gradual maturity of the technical system

² changes in the business model brought by open source software

² Vertical Integration Wave is emerging

² Software As a service to change traditional ideas

The advent of the SaaS model gives users more room for choice, and the SaaS model provides software services that are an inevitable outcome of the new era.

3. What is ASP

ASP is an abbreviation of the English Application Service provider, which is usually translated into an application service provider, which refers to a specialized service company that configures, leases and manages application solutions for business and personal services. In layman's words, ASP is a business leasing model that provides application services to businesses, individuals and customers through the Internet. Enterprise users can directly lease the ASP's computer and software system for their own business management, thereby saving a large amount of money for it product technology purchase and operation.

ASP service is through the network to the enterprise to provide leasing application software services, through these applications, enterprises only pay a small amount of cost can be digitized management, and access to the external support of ASP professionals. ASP is to provide enterprises with cheap "on-line Extended mind" service.

Let's take a deeper look at what ASP is, by comparing the differences between ASP and traditional software BPO (Business process Outsourcing).

In the BPO, through the two parties signed a contract to achieve the purpose of project development. The customer requirements of the contract cover the management of the entire business process (such as human resources, finance, etc.), while the ASP is application-centric, renting and managing the use of a single or packaged application. The typical BPO is to provide personalized services on a one-off basis, while the ASP model provides a "one-to-many" commonality of services, service providers are renting software rights on the basis of resource sharing, and the service products of ASP are more popular and standardized, while BPO is a customer or service for a few. It is ASP this "one-to-many" service model to achieve the software industry Division of Labor and Cooperation, fully embodies the scale of economic development.

4. The history and development status of ASP

L ASP's past

In 1996, Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison predicted that the rise of network computers will inevitably bring another streamlined revolution to information technology in future enterprise applications. The host server and the client terminal are combined into a dense network, the browser-based user interface allows the user who is not familiar with the technology to operate without hindrance. This is the interface technology into the invisible thin-client concept, in addition to Oracle network computer, Sun Microsystems Javastation terminal and Lotus software package esuite are thin-client representative products. However, in just a few years, the product that is rooted in the concept of the main structure because of the lack of competitiveness of the cost, gradually replaced by a rising star of the ASP.

A few years ago, when an application service provider (ASP) appeared, it seemed to be the best choice to help companies join the Digital Age: ASPs develop, run, and maintain commercial software, and businesses can get the applications they need by paying their monthly or yearly rental fees. However, the bursting of the dotcom bubble has made the ASP's success a blip, and when most start-up companies fall, the ASP seems to have died down. Most of the former mainstream application service providers are either already on the verge of declining (such as Futurelink Company) or at the edge of acquisitions or mergers by other companies (such as usinternetworking).

From the operational model, the ASP is responsible for the maintenance of software, upgrades and other work, hardware and software and other entities are stored in the hands of the ASP, and users are only the results of the service. This is the biggest difference from pay-as-you-pay licenses. Many people think that ASP mode is a kind of failure mode.

But the reason why it failed in addition to the application of the habit of a sudden difficult to change, there is another important reason is that the relevant technology is still very immature, such as remote integration problem has not been well solved. Yankeegroup analysts think, "5 years ago, ASP technology is not mature, it can not be customized, not have offline capabilities, can not integrate with other systems, lack of such or such functions, so the ASP is difficult to escape also become inevitable."

ASP Industry Association was established in June 1999, the main purpose is to promote the standardization of ASP model, so that customers can rest assured that the use of multiple ASP without the formation of content conflicts.

L ASP's present and future

But today, with the gradual establishment of standards related to Web services, similar issues are gradually being addressed at the technical level. So we see, ASP this once attributed to the network bubble, was limbo marketing model began to return to the game. On the other hand, the slump in the global economy has prompted companies to look at ASPs again, after all, with a monthly or yearly fee-based approach to software usage that is more cost-efficient than buying licenses and high maintenance costs, at least in a short period of time. In general, large software systems such as Oracle and SAP require considerable initial investment for software purchases, installation, and training, and once they are in use, maintenance and software upgrade fees must be paid. In contrast, if you rent software to an ASP, all of these investments can be saved, and the company will have to pay just $ hundreds of a month for rent, and that money can be fully incorporated into the daily expenses of the business.

In foreign countries, ASP is now the most successful representative of, it provides customers with EntERPrise Edition ASP, the latest version includes customer service, sales force automation, marketing automation and reporting functions. uses NC and Sun's constantly improving Java enterprise system to provide online "pay as you buy" sales Automation services to 6,700 business users in 110 countries in 10 different languages, using customer Relationship Management (CRM) as an online service, any time, Available at any location on the website. These users use NC to reduce cost and complexity, allowing the utility business computing model to be used on a large scale. In order to avoid complex technology and better manage the business, has taken advantage of all sides, using a small part of traditional system cost to realize world-class CRM software function, and take all the risks on its own. Customers do not need to buy or install hardware or software, they only need minimal training in Salesforce systems, and the entire organization can be deployed within a few days and put into CRM operation. Typically within two months of implementation, the customer is rewarded and the first year of return on investment reaches or exceeds 300%. Through the ASP service, it has snatched many CRM users from the Siebel company. At present, its customers have reached more than 4,000 people, including many such as Siemens, LookSmart and other large companies. Whether it is the bursting of the dotcom bubble or the stagnation of economic growth in the last two years, has not affected the rapid development of, its sales revenue has always maintained a two-digit growth, the 2003 fiscal year total revenue of $51 million, more than the previous year increased by more than twice times, 2004 hit a new annual income of $100 million.

As with ERP, the ASP model after successful abroad (data show that in the United States, nearly 60% of small and medium-sized enterprises in different degrees of application of ASP mode), on the localization of the road, the same experience too much suffering. Over the past few years, has been a constant controversy, rise and fall. But there is no doubt that China's ASP is preparing to start: The end of 2005, the Chinese telecom in the south launched a "business Pilot" project, mainly for small and medium-sized enterprise users, to provide fully based on the ASP model of services; China Netcom also developed an ASP development strategy; IBM, after selling its PC business, More is to turn to the Internet and software services, which, the ASP model of the promotion has become its major.

At home, the ASP way to start earlier, and now a certain success of the Representative is undoubtedly UF library. UF Group Wei Library Network technology company is the ASP service model and the birth of enterprises. At that time, Wei Library hope that through the Internet to provide small and medium-sized users with financial software services, users do not need to have their own financial software and soft and hardware infrastructure, as long as the login to the network of Wei Library, enter their own accounts, enter financial documents, you can book online, out of the report. However, the practice shows that considering the security and controllability of information, it is very difficult for users to accept this service mode. After the setback, Wei Library quickly to the Chinese market has a completely new understanding, the goal positioning more clear.

Wei Library to the management of the direction of the adjustment. The use of server/browser (b/s) mode to develop enterprise distribution management software, and according to the needs of users to customize, so that each user can have a set of their own distribution management software. The branches of the enterprise only need to prepare a computer with Internet access, even in special cases using Internet cafes, you can handle sales orders, data concentrated in the headquarters processing, managers on the sales situation at a glance.

Wei Library's distribution management software quickly achieved much better results than financial software. At present, the Inner Mongolia Yili milk, far hing natural alkali, China Peace publishing house and so on nearly 10 users have used the Wei Library's distribution management software. Then, Wei Library to provide users with server hosting services, such as broadband, firewall, anti-virus, operating system, database software, application software, switches, routers and other aspects of the problem, do not have to worry about users.

There is now a multiplicity of forms of ASP services. Initially, ASP was intended to establish a network-based implementation of the standard leasing model of the application provided. This is not suitable for domestic traditional enterprises, personalized demand changed the original plan of ASP. Now, the ASP may just provide the user with the appropriate software, and the user own the server, or the server hosted to IDC. Diversification of service offerings to meet diverse needs has become the key to ASP success. Yili Group in the establishment of distribution system, the system outsourcing to UF, server hosting to the century interconnection, it can be said that the ASP to provide a variety of services portrayal of the way.

Only ASPs that provide professional services for a particular business area can truly succeed! This is also the conclusion of Yankee Group. Large software providers, such as Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft, and so on, often offer full-featured commercial applications, and ASPs typically only offer application-specific software, such as sales opportunity management.

The provision of CRM services is not unique to As early as 2, 3 years ago, CRM is a hot topic of information management, although the number of companies providing CRM services, but the most user-scale disease is expensive and the system is too complex. According to Gartner, 42﹪CRM users are reluctant to use them in the future, leading to a downturn in the CRM market, taking the lead in brand Siebel as an example of a $1.6 billion reduction in revenue last year from $2 billion in the previous 1 years.

However, the online CRM system, including, is rapidly growing in the SME market and has threatened the market foundation of several large suppliers such as Siebel, as dozens of companies in the top 500 have chosen and deployed in a worldwide branch office. Siebel's response was to align with IBM and launch the "Software as a service" market for and online CRM.'s successful "No software" marketing strategy has achieved astonishing results in just a few years, with 11,000 customers worldwide and sustaining rapid growth.

The reason is that solves the problem that the operation mode of the above-mentioned companies is not solved. Instead of providing CRM services as a client/server application in a hosted environment on the Internet, the company has designed CRM as a unique software solution from the outset, providing it as an appointment service on the Internet. In the past, the installation of the project to the online rental, enterprises do not have to worry about software version updates, resulting in increased cost of upgrading, or enterprise internal system confusion, of course, it saves a lot of it maintenance funds, compared to the past million or even tens of millions of setup costs, Saleforce users can enjoy the same service if they pay $65 per month. This approach does not require customers to spend a lot of money on hardware and software investment, and support and maintain a CRM environment.

It chooses the implementation process of the traditional CRM and optimizes it. A traditional in-house CRM project will take months to install, configure, train and deliver, while's technology enables companies of all sizes to start using the CRM system immediately. It builds its software on the hosting model at the beginning, and it only needs to provide its system in a host-hosted environment, making it difficult for established software companies like Siebel and PeopleSoft to contend with them.

5. Summary

This article introduces the various stages in the software development life cycle. In these stages, we mainly introduce the predecessor ASP of SaaS. Through the introduction of the ASP, so that we more comprehensive, specific understanding and hold the path of SaaS, otherwise it may be out of context effect.

One of the SaaS series: Introduction to the predecessor ASP of SaaS

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