When software as service (SaaS) first appeared on the global scene over a decade ago, it got a lukewarm reception, but its popularity has grown steadily since, as a matter of fact into a multibillion-dollar industry.
Just think about it. You use Internet hosted solutions every day – Gmail, Hotmail, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to name a few. For business applications, think Web collaboration tools (like WebEx), customer-relationship management solutions (like Salesforce), enterprise-resource planning (ERP) software and marketing automation software (like Marketo).
So what of Public Safety? Last month, I wrote about a trend toward hosted solutions that I see taking shape in this industry.
VoIP E-911 and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) have been available in hosted configurations for a few years now, but not in any widespread adopted way. Today, however, hosted solutions, such as NICE Inform, are getting a serious second look. With municipal budgets continuing to contract, and PSAPs latching on to the concept of sharing IP infrastructure – which they’ll be doing even more of as they transition to the future ESInet – hosted solutions are coming to the forefront.
Here are five key reasons why hosted solutions make sense for public safety.
- More bang for the buck — A major benefit of hosted solutions is that they are cost effective. Instead of a huge upfront capital expenditure, PSAPs can pay a smaller, predictable monthly charge to subscribe to the software as a service, so it can be budgeted as an ongoing operating expense.
- Richer functionality, resiliency and data security— Hosted solutions put richer functionality and resiliency within the reach of PSAPs by leveraging economies of scale.
- Rapid deployment and seamless scalability — Because hosted solutions do not require an upfront capital outlay, the purchase process can be streamlined. Hosted solutions also are much quicker to deploy.
- Maintenance and support — Most PSAP technology requires some level of support from in-house IT resources. With hosted solutions, this responsibility and cost is assumed by the vendor that provides the Software as a Service.
- Easier to change your mind — With a hosted solution, you are only married to your decision for the life of the service provider agreement.
Interested in learning more? I encourage you to read my in-depth article on this topic, “Why hosted solutions make sense for public safety,” in Urgent Communications Magazine.