ASPs: A Significant Prospect for Domino Professionals
Working for an application services provider (ASP) offers Domino professionals the best of two worlds: wider exposure to a breadth of different technologies and businesses than in a corporate IT organization, but without the travel, the unpredictability or the expensive dry cleaning bills of consulting.
The ASP market is growing substantially. Worldwide, IT shops spent $300 million on ASPs in 1999, according to IDC, the Framingham, Mass., research firm. IDC projects that by 2004, spending will hit $7.8 billion.
That creates a growing new job market segment for system administrators and application developers, and Domino professionals are poised to benefit. Lotus last fall introduced its ASP Solution Packs, an offspring of what it formerly called InstantHost. The new ASP Solution Packs are designed to help ASPs and ISVs create a hosted environment for Domino, QuickPlace and SameTime applications. Lotus has said it plans to expand its ASP offerings this fall.
With the ASP market gaining momentum in the Domino world, Domino professionals eyeballing the ASP market can expect salary offers that are 20 percent to 25 percent higher than average, says Julie Palen, president of InterNoded, a Cambridge, Mass.-based ASP that offers a line-up of 300 hosted Domino-based applications.
Moreover, Domino developers and administrators at ASPs have increased opportunities to broaden their skill sets. Rather than just administering Domino servers, administrators take on more of a sys admin or network admin role, working with an array of hardware platforms. And depending on customer requirements, developers may be building Domino applications from scratch or customizing shrinkwrapped solutions for a variety of clients in different business segments.
But there's a price attached to the higher pay and diversity of opportunity: Domino professionals in an ASP environment can expect to be on-call 24x7, notes Rob Novak, president and CEO of Strategic Net Applications, Inc. The consulting firm, based in Overland Park, Kan., hosts a QuickPlace-based collaboration application called TeamAnywhere, and may roll out additional hosted apps in the future.
"Because TeamAnywhere is a global application, we have to provide coverage 18 to 20 hours a day," Novak says. "It takes lots and lots of coffee to work here."
ASP Resources on the Web
Lotus ASP SolutionPack Home Page
Find out what you need to about Lotus' hosting platform. Here you'll find a white paper, "Paving the Way for ISVs and ASPs to Exploit the Applications-Hosting Groundswell" and a solid FAQ.
SearchDomino's Editor's Picks
The ASP-specific search engine hosted by TechTarget.com.
ASP Island - internet.com
Here up can find trends, forums, articles, job centers, solutions and a great selection of interviews with the ASP industry elite.
Written by Leslie Goff, a contributing editor based in New York.