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Web Based CMMS - Software as a Service (SaaS)

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web based cmms software CDs(This Web Based CMMS Systems article was first published in the March 2004 Issue of Plant & Works Engineering Magazine.)


There has been a trend in recent years towards the use of remote, web based software services through Application Service Providers. These are companies who make software applications available via the Internet to users who, rather than buying software, pay rental fees for it. The software does not have to be installed locally, the application being available through any web browser, and all support and maintenance is handled by the service provider.

Note: ASP was an ambiguous acronym and ASP or Web based CMMS software is increasingly becoming known as SaaS (Software as a Service).

CMMS vendors are not the only ones offering these SaaS solutions. CAD modeling, engineering design, finance packages, purchasing, ERP and even your company Intranet can now be rented. It's an expanding sector and the signs are that major growth is about to take place. Earlier problems with slow data transfer speeds, communication costs and data security have largely been eliminated and this has made ASP a very attractive proposition. This is clearly illustrated by the proliferation of systems that have become available over the last three or four years with most of the major CMMS vendors now offering an ASP option.

Who would use an ASP or Web Based SaaS CMMS system?

Anyone who needs to use a CMMS can use an ASP CMMS on the web. Essentially there is no difference in the software and with modern web technology just about anything that can be done on a normal package can also be done on an internet based ASP package.

What does a web based CMMS Cost?

As with standard CMMS software, costs can vary tremendously but ultimately you get what you pay for. The scales and methods of charging vary from provider to provider and the cost per user can be as low as £20 or £30 ($50 USD) per user per month or as high as £200 or £300 ($500 USD). Some companies provide metered access to the CMMS system where you only pay for the time that you are online.

Many factors will contribute to your choice of application service provider but you should do the arithmetic beforehand to ensure that it is a viable proposition for your company. People often dismiss these web based ASP solutions because their cost at first glance often appears to be prohibitive. This decision is generally based on background knowledge of the cost of standard CMMS or EAM software. The initial arithmetic can convey the impression that ASP is more expensive but the total cost of implementation, training, maintenance and support on both options must be considered.



Advantages of Web Based CMMS Software



Disadvantages of Web Based CMMS Software


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Comparison of Web Based CMMS - Selecting your Provider

The process for your web based or ASP CMMS comparison is almost identical to that for any other CMMS. Quite simply, you must ensure that all the features you require in a regular CMMS are available in your ASP CMMS solution. There are however some other factors that are worth mentioning.


Relative Costs of Web Based CMMS - Comparison with Locally Installed CMMS Software

Application Service Providers will normally suggest that the TCO (total cost of ownership) of an ASP CMMS is less than 50% of that of a PC based, onsite hosted system. This may be true but you should carry out detailed research into the relative costs of the hosted CMMS system versus a locally installed system in your situation. The table below itemises most of the features that should be considered in any cost comparison

Saas CMMS Cost Considerations
CMMS Software Capital Outlay
CMMS Hardware Capital Outlay
Application Software Licensing
Other Software Licensing (MS SQL, etc.)
Software Maintenance
CMMS Network Management
CMMS Data Backup
Disaster Recovery
CMMS Database Administration
Operating Costs
Personnel Costs for System Support
CMMS and Software Training
CMMS and Software Support
Implementation Costs


In conclusion, there are very few real arguments left against ASP software. Modern IT and web and browser technology has ensured that ASP will become more and more popular. Forecasts suggest that this portion of the CMMS market place will grow by 10% per year for the next four years. For many companies this will be the future of their CMMS systems. It is easy to see why when you consider that many of the items in the table above have no costs associated with them on an ASP solution making it much easier to justify and demonstrate a return on investment on these systems.

The original version of this Web Based CMMS Report appeared as an article in the March 2004 issue of Plant & Works Engineering magazine. You can download a PDF copy from our downloads page. ( Web Based CMMS Article )

We can provide you with independent advice and assistance with the selection of Web Based CMMS systems. Contact us anytime.

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