Head In The Cloud?

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Viewpoint

Are you still hosting your design processing software on site? Maybe it is time to move to the cloud and discover the benefits that brings, says Cyncly’s sales manager Greg Beachim. We report.

All fabricators that took the forward-thinking step of investing in Window Designer from Cyncly business First Degree Systems before 2020 would have had to host the application, and the database, on site.

This requires servers, space to store the servers, energy to power on-site hardware, trained personnel to manage those servers, and the responsibility to get that service up and running if there was an issue.

Today, however, Cyncly’s sales manager Greg Beachim highlights that customers have access to different hosting platforms that have the potential to meet their requirements at lower cost and greater management efficiency.

“Up until recently, maintaining your own servers was the only deal in town, whether you owned the software outright, or signed up to a subscription service,” he says. “If we look at our subscription models now and what they offer, they can either be on-premise, or they can be cloud-hosted, or we can do per-site licencing.

“There are various other solutions we can offer for businesses to improve their services, but the key thing is that if you choose to move to a cloud platform, this can offer the solutions and benefits an on-premises version of Window Designer can offer.”

Greg Beachim

This method of hosting software, Greg says, jumped in popularity when Microsoft ceased support for Windows Server 2012 in October 2023. This move to sunset technical support for old software platforms is not uncommon, but it can potentially put the security of possibly hundreds of window fabricators at risk if they don’t upgrade their systems.

Fabricators could have faced investing in both new server hardware and operating system licencing, which can cost thousands if not tens of thousands of pounds.

“The other option was to move to a cloud-based solution such as Window Designer Cloud, which can offer you many more benefits,” Greg says,

“For a lot of businesses, this means that they can work 24/7 from almost any internet-enabled device and simply carry on working. Which means that if they’ve got multiple factories, or if they’ve got multiple staff working from multiple locations, the cloud may suit them for the application that they’re looking to use it for.”

Cyncly sees the ongoing trend as having a cloud-based application available as an option to all customers, which underlines the value that fabricators place on remote services.

“We offer various cloud services within our own suite of products, whether that be Zandi, Window Designer Cloud, or Cloud Retailer,” Greg says. “So, we’re meeting the needs of the market in relation to cloud-based platforms, and what they can offer the businesses in terms of features and benefits.”

For example, customers no longer have to invest in servers and their upkeep, they can benefit from upgrades to software as they go live, and they can add and remove modules as they see fit. All this saves them money and puts them in control of their software investment.

“As fabricators grow, they will often want to bring on board new software functions, which they weren’t prepared to pay for from day one because it was too big a leap forward for them,” Greg says.

The Window Designer subscription package was designed so that a fabricator can choose different tiers of functionality, without worrying about paying for unused functions. So, they may start out on a basic package that allows them to process window and door designs, including complex shapes.

Once that is in place, that fabricator may choose to upgrade their subscription package to include other cost and time-saving modules, such as Profile Optimiser and Stock Assistant, which help to reduce waste, optimise pricing, and manage stock levels that keeps more cash in the business.

“When it comes to cloud hosting, many applications are accepted as commonplace as being cloud based,” Greg says. “Take Office 365 as an example. That’s accessible 24/7 simply on a browser. You can create a document on one device and continue editing it on another – simply by accessing the app via a browser.

“So, cloud-enabled apps are a key element of our product development as we move forward, and we expect to bring even more benefits to our customers via subscription models of ownership and cloud-based software hosting.”


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