Cloud Computing

A Collaborative and Integrated System

4castplus is a centralized platform that integrates people, data, processes and workflows to deliver the intelligence and reporting required for a multi-discipline project team. By bringing together critical project functions such as Project Controls, Procurement, Project Tracking and Project Management, 4castplus offers a connected and collaborative world for users to share information and work efficiently together as a unified team. Although 4castplus brings a robust suite of solutions within one platform, there are numerous areas of total project delivery and corporate enterprise technology that 4castplus does not cover. It is strategically positioned as a top performing best-of-breed Project Cost Management solution with integrated Procurement and Document Management as they relate to projects. A key factor in any organization’s decision around software systems that fit into their enterprise portfolio, is more than just the footprint that one system covers, but how well that system can integrate with other related enterprise applications.  As a cloud-based software system, 4castplus is committed to delivering the integration APIs necessary to connect and synchronize data so that organizations can share data from end-to-end. True one-touch approach to systems. The world is becoming more social, mobile and connected.  Integrated solutions like 4castplus are enablers for organizations to take advantage of these trends. When companies are considering their options of choosing a disconnected solution approach – by picking multiple separate products to serve each functional area – versus an integrated solution like 4castplus, it’s important to weigh the following factors: 1)      Manual integration. A non-collaborative solution will force the users to manually integrate data by using Excel and email as a mechanism of exchange. This introduces risk, effort and errors. 2)      No Analytics. Users will miss out on the analytics and dashboards that

New Report Finds Project Profitability and Replacement of Manual Methods as Top Reasons For Project Management Software Buying Decisions

After interviewing thousands of buyers looking for Project Management software, Software Advice has compiled an insightful report that sheds light on key factors buyers are using in their purchasing decisions Key Findings Include: Nearly half of the buyers are looking to replace Manual Methods with dedicated software 100% of buyers expressed a preference for Cloud-Based Deployment Project Profitability was cited as a primary driver for searching for software solutions 90% of buyers were looking for an Integrated Suite that pulled together multi-discipline and multi-functional capabilities into a common platform or solution. If you’re currently in the market for purchasing project management, timesheet & billing, procurement or project controls software, how does your criteria compare with the findings in this report? Have a look through the presentation below for more information. Project Management BuyerView 2014 from Software Advice

Nobody Wants a Long and Painful Implementation

  A Legacy of Long and Costly Software Implementations has Caused Businesses to Re-Think how they Buy Business Critical Solutions A few days ago I had an interesting lunch conversation with some friends who were talking about disaster software implementations they’d experienced in past companies. Each had their own horror story about the never-ending struggles and disruptions and the years of fruitless effort that went into them. We all mused about how common it is to hear stories like that, and the crazy amounts of money that companies blow on the implementation.  That legacy has caused modern businesses to re-think their approach to enterprise software. Modern businesses that are looking for software solutions are increasingly seeking out products that can provide immediate value to an immediate need. Companies today are much less likely to look at the large enterprise behemoths like Oracle and SAP that are out to reinvent their business. There just isn’t the appetite anymore for the high costs, uncertain results and painfully long & expensive implementations. Today’s businesses want to solve a specific need and get up and seeing results quickly; and at a minimum cost. This doesn’t always mean however; that the decisions around adopting new technology are necessarily easy – even when that new system looks to be a perfect fit. Easy or not, those decisions have to be made; because as businesses grow, they start to feel the pinch of old technology slowing them down or causing unnecessary errors and failures. The decision process typically works a bit like this.  Once they accept that they need to improve things, companies start looking around for what software is out there that can help fix their burning issues. 

What is SaaS and What’s in it for You?

Ever wondered what SaaS really means? SaaS means “Software as a Service” and is both a licensing model, as well as a software product delivery model. SaaS is not that new, but it is becoming more popular as cloud-based applications are flourishing. It might seem new to some, since it's a departure from the more traditional “On-Premise” software applications. So what is it then? Put simply, SaaS is a distribution method where software applications are made available over the web and cloud by a software vendor. All the infrastructure, equipment, maintenance and other IT-related costs are covered by the vendor as part of the SaaS license fee. Companies can free themselves from any software to install or hardware to buy or maintain – all they need is an internet connection, and the software is there all the time. In addition to the convenience of accessing the software application over the web and cloud, SaaS also differs in its pricing model. On-premise software is typically purchased through a Perpetual License, which means buyers own licenses of that version of the software. They also pay 20% to 30% per year in maintenance and support fees on top of the license purchase. SaaS, on the other hand, allows buyers to pay an annual or monthly subscription fee, which typically includes the software license, support, product upgrades and all other fees.  With SaaS pricing, the customer is not burdened with a heavy front-loaded cost.  With traditional On-Premise perpetual license, the buyer takes on a great deal of risk and has to cross their fingers that it’s all going to work. With the SaaS pricing model, the costs are spread out over time, and the vendor is more on the

Top 5 Advantages of Cloud-based Construction Software

  With all the buzz recently about cloud based construction software, I’m sure many business owners and project managers are wondering if it’s the right fit for their business. So I thought I’d jot down a few of the considerations with adopting software in-the-cloud. You might first be asking why it’s suddenly emerged that the cloud is all the rage. The answer to that is it really comes down to timing. The idea of cloud computing has existed for many years; but it was only about five or six years ago that the technology and infrastructure were in a mature enough state to truly support complex applications that were web-based and hosted in the cloud. Prior to that, software like Facebook, Gmail and online trading systems were about as complex as you’d want to go. Today, however, that’s all changed. With new more powerful browsers, huge advancements in underlying software development tools and a proliferation of high-speed data centers; we now have the capability to do anything a desktop (or, thick-client) software solution can do. Construction software typically manages a lot of data and varying workflows such as: project estimating, earned value management, project accounting, change management, project cost tracking, procurement, etc. So, the demand it has on the server, as well as the client browser, is much greater than the typical website. But today's cloud software systems can easily handle it - and it just keeps getting better. So then, what would be the downside of cloud computing? Well, depending on what your priorities are, it’s hard to find a downside – especially in the world of construction project management software. The biggest concern that people express about cloud software essentially boils down to