Suppliers to fund ASP user group

The task of setting up the ASP Community has been given to independent body The Research Group

Application service providers (ASPs) have agreed to fund a user group to disseminate good practice in ASP projects.

The task of setting up the ASP Community has been given to independent body The Research Group, which launched the project at this week's Networks Show in Birmingham.

Suppliers have already formed the ASP Consortium to promote their services and they predict the market will be worth billions of pounds.

Companies as diverse as BT and Microsoft are heavily committed to the future rental and management of software over the Internet.

But service level agreements, software maintenance and dispute resolution are among the concerns of users looking at renting applications online. Users could be left in difficulties if contracts ended in dispute, and they did not have legal access to their stored data.

Such scenarios could be avoided in most cases with the help of standard contracts being agreed by the industry, and this is one area the ASP Community will help address.

Dr Simon Moores, Computer Weekly columnist, chairman of The Research Group and co-chairman of the ASP Community, said, "Users are looking for genuine guidance rather than a lot of hyperbole."

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