A client in the agri-food industry recently asked the following question, the answer to which was extremely important for him : ‘’How is the OptaHaul solution delivered, please tell me it does not need to be installed on our hardware?’’
Having reassured the client by explaining our cloud delivery model, he went on to elaborate. It turns out he used an on-premise route optimisation platform in a previous job. Each time he ran an optimisation with this software, their IT network would slow down or sometimes freeze entirely. This meant that he, and his work colleagues, were unable to use any other systems while an optimisation was running! As ludicrous as this sounds, it is the reality for many legacy route optimisation software platforms. While it may be common, it should no longer be accepted.
Route Optimisation Software characteristics
Route optimisation software requires relatively low computing power for long periods of time, interrupted by extremely high peaks of demand to run complex optimisation calculations powered by mathematical algorithms. Once the user has finished running optimisations, computing demand returns to previous levels as the user reviews the optimised plans, makes manual edits and shares the finalised plans with the wider business.
Cloud v On-Premise
On-premise software, on the market for many years, is software that is installed on the company’s hardware. This means that it is the customer’s responsibility to source, maintain and manage the underlying infrastructure. This IT hardware infrastructure must be chosen carefully so that it can comfortably handle varying levels of demand from its users. Invariably, in the case of on-premise route optimisation software, this results in one of the two following scenarios :
- a low performing solution where the hardware cannot handle peaks in demand
- a high performing, high cost solution with a significant amount of excess processing capacity during periods of low demand
On the other hand software applications built natively in the cloud have emerged in recent years. Cloud native platforms are fully managed by the vendor, meaning the customer only needs an internet browser to access the solution. These products are designed from the ground up to be flexible, scalable and highly capable of handling spikes in demand. This cloud delivery approach takes away many headaches for customers as the underlying infrastructure, now managed by the vendor, adapts automatically according to demand. The customer’s IT team need not worry about hardware, end user experience is enhanced and business productivity is increased.
Other benefits to choosing a modern, cloud-native route optimisation platform include :
- Scalability to run as many optimisations as needed, even concurrently, empowering the business to easily model scenarios and understand the cost impact of changes before implementing them.
- Improved optimisation results and better user experience.
- It is easier to add new features so customers receive regular access to innovative functionality through quarterly updates.
- Lower costs, quicker implementation and greater ROI.
- Pay only for what is needed and scale up or down as required.
- Your work colleagues will not blame you for freezing their systems!
To learn more about how OptaHaul is providing modern, innovative, user friendly route optimisation solutions to the dairy and agri-food sectors, check out our resources page or get in touch for a chat.