Do ASPs Make Software Fun?

from the so-many-shiny-buttons dept

The ASP model for software has gone in and out of favor. During the boom years, it seemed like every company suddenly wanted to be an ASP, with the idea that big companies would have no problem whatsoever moving all of their most important data to a remotely hosted server run by some company that didn’t exist a year ago and might not exist a month from now. Obviously, that didn’t work so well. One of the major problems was that the early ASPs tried to take big enterprise software products and turn them into an ASP offering by hosting them remotely. Unfortunately, those products weren’t designed for an ASP model, and users ran into all sorts of problems. The current crop of ASP offerings were built from the ground up to be sold as hosted offerings, which means they tend to work much better. Also, as companies get used to these things, the idea of having someone else host and manage the software isn’t such a bad thing (though, some companies are still a bit nervous about it). One aspect that isn’t discussed much, however, is the idea that an ASP seems to be a lot more fun than traditional software. It sounds a little crazy, but there is something to it. The ease of signing up for these things and having them ready to go immediately does have an element of fun to it. When we started using a salesforce automation product here at Techdirt, there was exactly that feeling. Once the decision was made on which provider to go with, the sign up process was quick, and we had immediate functionality to mess around with. The whole process was much more appealing than having to go out, buy some software, install the software on a single machine and start using it.

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