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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Answers



With regard to subscription-based CRM software systems, what are the differences between the terms on-demand, SAAS, BPO, ASP and MSP? (did I miss any?)



No, I don't think you missed any.

  • SaaS stands for software as a service and is the most utilized term to describe subscription based CRM and SFA (sales force automation) software solutions based on per user pricing and hosted delivery. SaaS is characterized by a user-based and time based subscription pricing model, hosted delivery over the Internet and browser-based access to a business software application operated on either a multi-tenant or single-tenant (private database) delivery platform.

  • ASP stands for Application Service Provider. ASP's normally manage the deployment, operation and support of various application technology types (thin client, fat client, client/server). ASP's existed prior to SaaS and have largely been replaced by SaaS solutions, however, a few remain. Some ASP's claim to be SaaS providers, however, misuse the term by hosting any application that can be accessed over the Internet. For instance, hosting a fat client or client server system over the Internet provides significant technology obstacle (poor performance, significant maintenance, increased user support, etc), however, some vendors do offer such solutions.

  • BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing and typically focuses on the outsourcing of line of business processes such as billing (invoicing), procurement, payroll and claims processing. ADP's payroll management is a classic example of BPO.

  • MSP stands for Managed Services Provider and provides various agreed upon business services or technical services on behalf of its customer. Examples may include managed information security services, outsourced e-mail or even managing an entire call center or help desk.





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