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What is ASP? Explain the merits and precautions including the differences from ISP and SaaS!


ASP is a service and its provider via the Internet.
With the development of the Internet environment, ASP, which can easily introduce new services, has become widespread not only in the marketing industry and IT industry but also in the general public.
Now that the connection to the Internet has become commonplace, there are many advantages such as no specialized knowledge or maintenance compared to the installation type provision method, and further use is progressing.
This time, we will introduce the basic knowledge and features of Application Service Provider, the differences from other services, and what you should be aware of before actually introducing it.

table of contents

  • 1. Basic knowledge and features of ASP
  • 2. What is the difference between ASP, ISP, SaaS, and cloud?
  • 3. Benefits of ASP
  • 4. Points to be aware of before introducing ASP
  • 5. Let’s introduce a new service easily with ASP!

Basic knowledge and features of ASP

ASP is an abbreviation of “Application Service Provider” and refers to services that use applications on the Internet and their service providers.

A major feature of an Application Service Provider is that it can be used anywhere. It can be accessed and operated by multiple people on the network at the same time and can be used immediately from a PC or smartphone if there is an internet environment. Various services such as customer management, sales/sales promotion, in-house financial management, and payroll are provided.

Conventional applications and services have been used by installing the software directly on the PC. Therefore, if you want to use it in-house, you need to install the application on each PC of all employees. The software had to be installed again when the PC was replaced or when it was renewed due to a malfunction.

However, with Application Service Provider, there is no need to install software on individual PCs, and you can use the service simply by starting the PC and connecting to the network.


What is the difference between ASP, ISP, SaaS, and cloud?

Words that are often heard together with Application Service Provider are “ISP”, “SaaS”, and “cloud”. I would like to take a look at the meanings and differences of ASP, ISP, SaaS, and cloud, which are often confused. The difference between them is shown in the figure.


name Meaning of words
ASP Services used on the Internet, or service providers
ISP A service provider that enables internet connection
SaaS Applications used on the Internet
Cloud The technology and mechanism itself that provides ASP and SaaS


● What is an ISP?

ISP is an abbreviation of “Internet Service Provider” and refers to a service provider that enables Internet connection. To give a specific example, providers such as Yahoo! BB, OCN, and BIGLOBE are ISPs. If you want to arrange internet connection work such as optical fiber or ADSL when you move, please contact your ISP.


● What is SaaS?

SaaS is a term that has begun to be used relatively newer than Application Service Provider and ISP. Abbreviation for “Software as a Service”, SaaS and ASP are treated in almost the same meaning in Japan. However, the difference is that Application Service Provider refers to the service provider or the service itself, while SaaS refers to the application itself.

As for specific service contents, there is a difference that Application Service Provider is a single-tenant and SaaS is a multi-tenant. In a single-tenant, one environment is built for one user, but in the case of multi-tenancy, multiple users are managed in one environment.


● What is the cloud?

Cloud is an English word that means “cloud” or “horde”, but in the IT industry, the cloud is used to refer to “a mechanism for using applications and software via the Internet.” The “technology and mechanism itself that provides Application Service Provider and SaaS” mentioned above are called the cloud. Services that use this mechanism are called “cloud services.” There are many world-famous cloud services such as “Dropbox”, which is popular as file-sharing software, and “Gmail”, which is familiar as a free mail service.

Cloud is a term that began to be used after Application Service Provider and SaaS, but it is an easy-to-use term with a comprehensive meaning and is widely used in the fields of IT and system development. Except for the ISP, which stands for provider, the terms Application Service Provider, SaaS, and cloud, which all have similar meanings, are often used interchangeably.


Benefits of ASP

What are the advantages of using an Application Service Provider compared to other service forms such as the conventional installation type? We would like to introduce the advantages of Application Service Provider from three points.


● Cost reduction

With the introduction of the Application Service Provider, you can expect significant cost reductions. For example, when using an in-house system that suits the characteristics and business flow of a company, a huge initial cost is required to introduce and customize commercially available software or to develop a new one. However, in the case of an Application Service Provider that introduces and uses the already completed service, the initial cost for developing the system in-house can be greatly reduced.
In addition, since there is no need for in-house maintenance or regular maintenance, the running cost for continuous use of the service is only the system usage fee, and the cost after introduction can be reduced.


● Easy to use

Many Application Service Provider services have a business model that makes a profit by getting users to use them. Therefore, the user interface is sophisticated and it is easy to use. Since the settings are easy to understand, it does not take time to learn the operation method when introducing the service, and the cost is low.
Also, unlike leasing services, Application Service Provider has a great advantage in that it can be used only when the service is needed. You can use the Application Service Provider system for a short period, such as every month. Depending on the operator, you may be able to use it for free for the first few days, so it is a good idea to try and compare multiple services to see which Application Service Provider is right for you.


● No need to prepare a management system

If it is an ASP service, you do not need to prepare your management system. If you develop your system, regular maintenance such as security measures and hard disk enhancement is indispensable because data is retained on the server, which may increase running costs.

On the other hand, ASP retains the data and information used for services on ASP, so there is no need to take security measures in-house, and there is no need for specialized knowledge or maintenance such as server management.


● Can be used anywhere

Applications installed on an in-house PC can be handled only in-house. On the other hand, ASP services operate applications and manage data on the Internet, so they can be used anywhere as long as the Internet environment is in place. For example, ASP makes it easy to manage the work of employees who work from home through smartphones and to have meetings with customers while on the move using a tablet terminal.

In modern Japan, the government is advocating “work style reform” aiming for a society where various work styles can be selected. ASP, which can be used anywhere, can be said to be a service that goes well with this work style reform. By introducing ASP services in-house, it will be easier to create a flexible working environment where you can work from home or telework.


Precautions to know before introducing ASP

With ASP, not all services have equal benefits. Here are some things to keep in mind before actually deploying ASP.


● Internet environment is essential

ASP is started on the browser or with dedicated client software while connected to the Internet. Some ASPs work in a local environment without an internet connection and have a mechanism to upload change data to the server when the internet is connected, but most ASPs cannot be used without an internet connection. You need to find out if you have an internet environment at the location where you plan to deploy it.


● Confirmation of functions and standards

Before using ASP, make sure that the functions you want to use are provided. The ASP service can be customized to some extent, but unlike the system developed in-house, the business of the company will be adjusted to the decided system. In order not to regret that “there is no function or standard you were looking for” after you started using it, let’s check in detail the purpose you want to achieve and the function you want to use by introducing ASP.


● ASP security measures

ASP manages data on the Internet, and the company that provides the service is responsible for security management. As long as all management is entrusted, there is a drawback that the risk of information leakage is higher than managing it in-house. Therefore, it is important not only to check in advance whether the ASP security measures are perfect and select a reliable service but also to back up the information regularly at your company.


Let’s introduce a new service easily with ASP!

Compared to conventional installed software, ASP is less troublesome and easier to use the service.
In the present age when the Internet environment is in place, it can be said that the service has a low hurdle to start using.
Also, if you have a smartphone, you can use ASP on the go.
ASP can be expected to have merits such as cost reduction and reduction of work time by correctly identifying and using the functions that the company or individual wants to use.
Let’s check the precautions introduced this time before introducing and utilizing ASP.

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