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11
many cultural heritage non-profit institu-
tions (e.g. museums) are likely to require
some kind of donor management system
a large and fairly standard application
niche.The larger and more standard the
application niche, the more customers can
be served with that application and the
more efficient the Application Service
Provision solution will become.
H
owever, most ASPs are profit-making
ventures and therefore orient
towards the biggest and most lucrative
markets.These companies may have little
give children the opportunity to do some-
thing positive to help wildlife, even if it is
just something as simple as feeding birds.
So this section gives them practical activi-
ties to do and organisations they can con-
tact if they would like to do more.
Planet ARKive is continually develop-
ing. New games which will be added soon
include Egg and Spawn Race - help an
Atlantic Salmon to migrate and breed,
Tripwire of Terror - be a male ladybird
spider and convince your mate you are not
her next meal, and Plainkiller - the Copse
and Robbers sequel.
light some of the lesser known but no less
interesting species on the site.
Megavertebrates such as the elephant and
the tiger will be looked at immediately as
they are so familiar and popular. However,
we want children to be equally as enthusi-
astic about some of the smaller beasts
found on the site ant lions may not be as
well known as an African lion but in some
ways they are far more fascinating.
A very important section is What Can I
Do? As ARKive is not a physical place
users can visit, nor a campaigning organisa-
tion as such, we felt it was important to
BACK TO PAGE 1
A
N
I
NTRODUCTION TO
A
PPLICATION
S
ERVICE
P
ROVIDERS
D
r Thomas Finholt
, Director of the
Collaboratory for Research on
Electronic Work (CREW) at the School of
Information, University of Michigan,
introduces the concept of Application
Service Providers (ASPs) and explains how
they can benefit non-profit organisations.
A
pplication Service Provision is the use
of computer networks to access appli-
cations (e.g. database, electronic publishing
or office productivity software) and
resources (e.g. data storage,Web servers,
computers) on a subscription or `per use'
basis rather than through direct ownership.
This results in the overhead costs of
expensive information technology and per-
sonnel being borne by an independent
entity (the ASP) while the services are dis-
tributed to many customers theoretically
providing higher levels of service at a
lower cost than owning the software to
each customer.
N
on-profit organisations typically have
scarce resources for information
technology equipment and personnel. As a
result, most are unable to exploit advanced
systems and applications and are therefore
forced to use obsolete software and hard-
ware. For example, many non-profits
struggle simply to maintain current
licensed versions of basic office productivi-
ty applications (e.g. Microsoft Office).The
ASP model suggests that non-profits can
obtain access to current applications,
expert advice and technical support by
contracting with an ASP and the ASP
can distribute the costs of purchasing and
maintaining software and systems across
many customers. In some ways, this is sim-
ilar to the `service bureau' model few
organisations maintain an extensive print
production capacity but, when needed, this
facility can be purchased from a bureau.
Hence, even small organisations are able to
produce professional quality publications at
a cost below ownership and maintenance
of dedicated printing facilities.
T
he more standard the application
requirements, the more likely it is
that an ASP can identify a sustainable mar-
ket (i.e. enough subscribers doing suffi-
ciently similar work so that the ASP can
realise economies of scale). For instance,
Dr.Thomas Finholt
J
a
y J
a
c
kson
"An ASP attuned to the special
requirements of non-profit organisa-
tions will be better able to bring the
benefits of application service provi-
sion to the non-profit sector where
there is a need and a desire to apply
modern information technology but
resources are often strained."
A discussion of
computer games
within the cultural
heritage sector
begins on page
149 of the first
DigiCULT
Technology Watch
Report: http://
www.digicult.info/d
ownloads/ twr2003
_01_low.pdf