ASPs can be used to automate and outsource a wide range of business functions - online buying and selling, supply chain management, customer relationship management, finance management, human resources management, collaboration and messaging, procurement of goods and services… the list goes on.
According to All About ASP, ASPs are currently being used most commonly in the following areas:
- e-mail, messaging and groupware (33.6%)
- financial and accounting applications (24.8%)
- customer service or customer relationship management (19%)
- education and training (18.2%)
- human resources (13.1%)
- project management (9.5%)
- sales force automation (8.8%)
There are financial ASPs, which handle accounts and finance management functions such as invoicing, maintaining ledgers, accounts receivable and payable. Financial ASPs can also provide electronic billing, thus enabling companies to speed up the billing process, and to make payment easier for their customers.
Major suppliers currently operating in the ASP industry include the telecommunications companies, such as Qwest, which provide the network capacity; the ERP software application providers, such as SAP and Peoplesoft; the specialist software providers such as Lotus Corp. (Lotus Notes) and Microsoft (Microsoft Exchange) for collaboration and messaging; the Application Service Providers, such as Corio, Verio, or Interliant, who provide the hosting and servicing of the applications; and the "ASP aggregators," such as Agiliti, who provide unified solutions. These are just a few of the many players in the industry.