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Pros and Cons of ASPs

April 13, 2001
A Workforce Q&A with Mike Smith, vice president, business development, TALX Corporation, about the good and bad side of ASPs.
Workforce:
What is the current state of ASPs in the human resources arena?
Mike Smith:
ASP-based solutions actually complement HRMS-vendor-provided solutions.Today, all popular HRMS solutions provide standard application programminginterfaces (APIs) that make ASP integration a well-defined process. Inaddition, the employee portal trend is making integration simpler and offersemployees seamless access to a variety of services.


WF:
What are the pros and cons of blending conventional client-server softwareand ASP solutions?
MS:
The biggest advantage to integrating in-house systems with ASP software isthat the final solution is more robust and the total service offering ismuch richer. The blending of in-house and ASP-based solutions also offersthe advantage of bringing best-of-class services to employees. The biggestdisadvantage is the loss of control. That is why it is very important toselect an ASP that not only can provide the desired employee servicefunctions but also delivers a high level of service.


WF:
Which type of company benefits most from ASPs?
MS:
Traditionally, an ASP model has been most appealing to medium-sizeenterprises that simply cannot afford up-front software licensing costs, orthe infrastructure and ongoing maintenance costs required for enterprisebusiness applications. Now, with a multi-year ASP commitment, companies havepredictable ongoing costs. Even the larger companies with diverse employeepopulations can realize benefits by not staffing to handle peakemployee-centric events or supporting specialized employee servicestechnologies, such as IVR or speech recognition.


WF:
What are the most important issues to pay attention to when structuring adeal with an ASP?
MS:
Keyperformance measurements should include service availability, employeeutilization and acceptance, and consistency and reliability in dataexchange.

Workforce, February 2001, Vol80, No 2, p. 54  Subscribe Now!