If you think that an ASP will solve all of your business process challenges, think again. In this interview, Bryant Tong, president and COO of the San Rafael-based, full-service provider (FSP) ReSourcePhoenix.com, compares the FSP and ASP model.
According to Tong, FSPs offer a comprehensive range of integrated solutions and the trained staff to run the operations, allowing customers to reduce the costs of constantly retraining employees when new versions are released. ReSourcePhoenix's solutions include financial and management reporting, transaction processing, financial budgeting and analysis, and sales tracking. Tong's comparison of the FSP and the ASP models is especially worth reading if your company is considering this alternative to meet your business process needs.
ERPSuperSite: What solutions does ReSourcePhoenix provide?
Bryant Tong: ReSourcePhoenix.com (RPC) provides a tier-one application solution to emerging growth and middle-market companies that allows these companies to outsource to us all of the areas that typically fall under a chief financial officer’s duties. We use the Internet to deliver our information that is processed off-site through a secured virtual private network (VPN). We use our underlying applications, which are Oracle solutions, to process our clients' information. Customers can leverage our internal business processes, internal hierarchy, and hardware and software integration, which is located off-site away from the clients' infrastructure.
ERPSuperSite: How does RPC's model compare with other ASPs?
Tong: The ASP business model basically consists of hosting applications. The applications, which are Web-enabled, provide an effective timesharing event technology. However, the ASP business model is only a partial model. We consider ourselves a full service provider (FSP) because we not only provide the technology, [but] we also provide the people and the business processes to maximize that technology. For example, if you're a CFO using an ASP, you would still require in-house accounting people. You would still have to hire, train, and retrain them with every version upgrade. With every type of change, you'd still have to be involved in the management of the staff, and the time that is spent in that area is time taken away from your core business.
ERPSuperSite: How has the Internet changed business processes for middle-market companies?
Tong: The Internet has changed everything in terms of the communication level and how information is processed. Our customers can now take advantage of tools that they wouldn't have been able to cost-justify or afford to purchase outright. We use all the same tools that a Fortune 500 company uses in terms of the applications, hardware, and software. If a company was going to implement a tier-one application, like Baan or PeopleSoft, the costs to buy the hardware and software, hire the technical people to run it, as well as maintain a trained staff to use the application would be prohibitive. By bringing us in, companies do not need to bring that whole process in-house. We're able to deliver the same information at a much lower cost point.