Software as a Service offers solutions stored in a supplier’s infrastructure, via the cloud, that can be accessed as a service as opposed to a product. It doesn’t involve purchasing the programs, but rather a usage subscription according to the user’s requirements. With this model, companies don’t need to install, maintain and update software but, with a simple fee, they can use those programs and/or applications as required.
Subsequently, the programs run on the supplier’s servers and they are responsible for managing access, carrying out maintenance and providing updates and the user can access them from any device. This way, the plant can be controlled from absolutely anywhere, providing great agility and flexibility. The only requirement is an Internet connection. Connectivity is a key element that must be guaranteed to avoid the risk of interruptions.
Let’s take a look at the advantages of SaaS for the metal and sheet metal sector:
- Payment flexibility: the subscription model offers a wide range of payment possibilities, granting the user significant flexibility. From a fixed fee, a fixed fee with a usage-based variable, a usage-based fee... This way, you can have greater control of the resource costs. The annual investment is low, although maintaining it over time, in the long run, may prove more costly.
- No infrastructures: the true saving comes in the reduced cost of hardware and maintenance. At the same time, given that infrastructures aren’t required, you don’t need space for your own servers to save applications.
- Outsourced maintenance: in line with the above, this reduction in expenses is even greater given that the maintenance of the software used is the responsibility of the supplier. This also enables the in-house IT teams to dedicate their time to the tasks that add the most in terms of value.
- Automatic updates: adding even more to this cost reduction, the program updates are also the responsibility of the party that supplies them, meaning that the user doesn’t have to worry about this and will always be working with the latest versions, having access to the latest technology.
- Accessibility and mobility: the applications and software are available from anywhere and from any device, at any time. The only requirement is an Internet connection and the user can get to work.
- Security: the Cloud provider has safety standards and superior expertise in terms of securization. Equally, there’s a series of entry barriers such as user authentication or the isolation of communications.
Once we are aware of the advantages of SaaS, we need to look for a suitable supplier, a partner who helps manufacturers that specialize in sheet metal cutting and tool machinery to grow. At Lantek, we’ve been accompanying companies on their journey towards innovation and digitization for over 30 years. And, now more than ever with Industry 4.0, moving to the cloud is critical in order to survive and compete in a digital ecosystem that needs to be more efficient and productive in order to be profitable. For this reason, software solutions that are able to control and adapt production in real time, making it more agile, efficient and flexible are required.
Our SaaS offering is called Lantek 360, where we’re working to offer applications that revolve around four elements:
Lantek Analytics. In the Big Data era, we often hear about the enormous possibilities offered by the application of Artificial Intelligence to get more out of the vast quantity of data generated by plants. The only way of analyzing them quickly and competently is by using advanced technologies that programs can use to learn by themselves and offer smart responses that help people with objective decision-making.
Lantek iQuoting. Precision, speed and flexibility are the three key characteristics that we seek in a quoting program to come up with a suitable quote that is both competitive in the market and offers an acceptable margin. A smart solution that has the right allocation of raw material and working times to quantify costs is what is required. CAD/CAM and MES data are extracted using advanced algorithms.
Lantek MetalShop. Especially designed for manufacturers, this online shop for metal parts offers an interesting solution for buying material. In cooperation with Lantek iQuoting, find the offers that best suit your client.
Lantek Control Panel. This is an application that allows you to view and analyze the data generated by the plants showing, for example, the workloads of the machines, the material requirements, the stock capacity... and all using a system of notifications to avoid interruptions to the production process.
For the moment, of these four applications, the only one available is Lantek Analytics. The scope of SaaS solutions in the cloud over the next few years is set to be massive. In a biennium, these services will grow globally by 33%, up to 354,000 million dollars, according to a report by the consultancy firm, Gartner. A very promising future that is not only in the hands of Cloud Computing, but also niche suppliers with extensive expertise that are capable of creating value in the metal and sheet metal cutting industry.