A strategic guide to mastering service provider relationships
Turning to a service provider to outsource your Internet, software, and other technology needs can be an extremely cost-effective and efficient strategy for your business. The only problem is that trying to navigate through the technology-driven landscape of service providers can be very confusing. Emphasizing a business and technology perspective, this accessible guide will help you fully understand all the services that are available and how to determine which one is right for you. It covers everything from Internet access and application service providers to wireless and networking services and IT management services. You'll also find detailed business models, overviews of the enabling technologies, coverage of economic and management issues, and clear descriptions of service offerings within each provider type.
Gillespie and Matthews clearly show you how to develop the processes and hire the necessary people to create successful service provider partnerships. They take you step-by-step through the service level agreements (SLAs), describe the concerns you should have in the selection process, and offer checklists to follow when choosing a specific type of service provider. Most importantly, they explain the different service providers that you can choose for your business, including:
* Internet service providers that offer access to the Web or maintain your Web site and server
* Application service providers to outsource your software needs and cut costs
* Wireless and networking service providers utilizing technologies such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), Bluetooth, and VoiceXML
* Management service providers to give your IT staff the information they need to make business decisions “…the arguments are well-balanced and supported by good, approachable examples…the authors have successfully provided an interesting analysis of the field…” (Computer Bulletin, September 2003)