You may think there are only two choices when it comes to choosing the technological platform for your MIS software - web-based or on-premise. But we’d like to introduce you to a third solution, Hybrid SaaS.
What is a Hybrid SaaS solution?
A hybrid MIS solution is where your core MIS software is installed on-site but you can access it remotely via web-based technologies. You might choose to do this because you want to try and get the best of both worlds - the accessibility of a web solution, with the control and integration capabilities of an on-premise solution. A Hybrid SaaS solution just means that your hybrid solution is paid for using a SaaS pricing approach i.e. costs are paid monthly, with no more upfront costs for products or services.
What does a Hybrid solution look like for Tharstern?
For over 30 years, we’ve been developing our MIS and adding functionality to reflect the needs of the industry. About ten years ago, we began our journey towards a Hybrid solution when we recognized the need to access the MIS directly from the shop floor, without adding additional PCs to the network. So we developed our Shop Floor Data Capture tool, which allowed production staff to log activity on the shop floor using standalone devices.
Fast forward a few years and our Mobile Inventory tool was added to the collection, solving the problem of people wanting to access the MIS while moving around the warehouse.
Most recently, having seen a rise in working from home in recent years, we’ve developed our Remote Access Portal, which has been designed for sales and account management teams to access their MIS remotely, on any device, and create estimates and orders and track jobs. The portal can also be used by our customers’ clients to self-serve, allowing them to create quotes and place orders themselves online.
All these applications are connected to the main desktop application but can be used remotely on many different types of smart devices. This perfectly illustrates what is meant by a ‘hybrid’ approach.
The benefits of a Hybrid SaaS solution:
You have the remote access capability of a cloud-based solution, but you also have complete control over your own data and security.
You are not 100% reliant on an internet connection. Your MIS solution will still be operational on site even if web access is lost.
A SaaS model removes upfront costs for products and services, allowing you to spread your payments equally over the year.
You can more easily connect your MIS to other software applications and equipment without the need of any expensive middleware software. This can be the case with web based MIS solutions that aren’t built with an API First approach i.e. they have an API retrofitted on top of an existing solution, which provides limited connectivity opportunities.
Why you’re already using a hybrid approach
You might not think about it in these terms, but you actually already use a hybrid approach in your business. In the printing industry, there really isn’t any other option – your printing presses and machinery are tangible pieces of equipment that are never going to be anything else! When you add these to your workflow, alongside the software applications you use, that’s a hybrid approach.
Is a hybrid SaaS approach right for me?
As ever, this completely depends on your business priorities. If control and security are your thing, on-premise or hybrid solutions are the way to go. If it’s remote accessibility you’re after, you need either a web-based or hybrid solution.
The important thing to remember is that your choices in this area are not binary – you can choose which parts of your technological workflow are on-premise and which are web based, and still have a solution that you can access remotely.
And ensuring that your solutions are SaaS based, will be the icing on the cake!