An Application Service Provider (ASP) is generally offering a program that is exclusively for your dealership’s benefit. The program provided, such as a Dealership Management System (DMS), is offered on a contractual basis via the Internet. An ASP provided DMS is providing a primary, secure, dedicated resource by which you process all or most of your private information on a remote computer. This service allows the DMS vendor to provide additional valuable services such as data backups, server maintenance, software upgrades and more while limiting your investment in expensive hardware. ASP’s can provide a higher degree of privacy and security than Web applications while providing extended functionality to your dealership.
A wide area network is an extension of the tradition local area network. You house a network server on your premises and via the Internet or dedicated communications lines integrate remote locations (often with multiple computers) into a virtual PRIVATE network. This virtual private network is designed, implemented and maintained to provide distant access for your business units (stores) and to appear as though everyone is in the same facility. Like your local area network, you can exert more control but you accept more responsibility for maintaining the equipment, back-ups and more.
Remote control software is a marvelous tool that has been in widespread use for some time. Remote control software allows you to access your desktop computer from a remote site as though you were sitting at your desk. If you just want to get online to your office from home or while traveling and you have a self contained in-house DMS, then remote control software is your choice. This software is inexpensive and easy to install but it does have limitations.
While these descriptions, of remote computing methods, probably sound a bit vague and a little confusing, I look forward to providing more detail and better clarity as I discuss each method individually.
Vol 3, Issue 1