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4 Things to consider between Enterprise Or Cloud

When we get calls or inquiries on the room booking system solution, the caller is always in a dilemma between choosing the cloud-based subscription model or the enterprise model. To help put this dilemma to rest, we have written this short article on how to go about choosing between the cloud-based subscription model and the enterprise license. Today, most people are aware of the difference between the two models thanks to the burgeoning software-as-a-service (SaaS) type of businesses that have taken the internet by storm. However, in this article, we would like to provide a short description of the choosing Between Enterprise Or Cloud , its advantages and disadvantages, and how to go about choosing the software model.

Software Subscription Service

In this model of usage, the customer is provided with an internet-facing site that is available to their staff to log in and perform the booking of meeting rooms. The software is multi-tenant, meaning that several customers share the same system. The diagram above shows the typical layout of the cloud-based software-as-a-service or subscription-based model. In this diagram, each customer has access to the same site using their credentials.

The advantages of using a subscription service are:

  1. No upfront capital expenditure to install the software as it is accessible from the internet.
  2. No need to purchase hardware, associated software, and network infrastructure.
  3. No need to have technical staff who need to manage the system.
  4. All your need is an internet connection and a browser.

The usage determines the pricing. It is a part of the organization’s operating expenditure. The servers, software, and other infrastructure are all maintained by us and we provide service levels based on the underlying cloud provider’s service levels, in this case, Microsoft Windows Azure.

The disadvantage is:

  1. No customization is possible.
  2. No integration is possible.

Those companies use this model who do not want to manage the system and who have a lesser number of rooms and users to justify the purchase of servers and software to run the system.

Enterprise Model

In this model, the customer purchases the right to install the software on their servers. Once purchased, the software is installed on the customer’s servers and is run off of their network. This system can run within the intranet only or can be a combination of an intranet and internet-facing site depending on the usage scenario. The diagram above shows that the booking system is typically installed within their corporate network. While some may use it as a purely intranet-based system, others may open up their system for external bookings through the internet.

The advantage of using this method is:

  1. No limits on the number of rooms, users, and bookings.
  2. Ability to customize the system.
  3. Ability to link to external systems.
  4. Compliance with internal security and privacy policies.

The disadvantage of this method is:

  1. The need to have servers, database software, and network infrastructure.
  2. The need for technical staff to support the above infrastructure.
  3. Patches and bug fixes take a longer time as it has to be done on-site.

Large organizations usually use Enterprise licenses. They have many rooms and hundreds of users. Also, there is a need to link to other systems.


Dedicated Cloud Hosting Model

In this model, the organization purchases a license for the system but prefers to run the system on the internet or cloud as a separate instance. In the diagram shown above, each of the customers runs the system from the internet, but in their sand-boxed instance of the server.

The advantage of using this method is:

  1. No need to purchase hardware, associated software, and network infrastructure.
  2. No need to have technical staff who need to manage the system.
  3. All your need is an internet connection and a browser.
  4. Ability to customize.
  5. Ability to integrate with business systems.

The disadvantage is:

  1. The hosting costs and licensing charges may be too much.
  2. Unlimited rooms, users, and bookings come at the cost of paying for the storage space for the data and the bandwidth.
  3. In case of customization, special firewall rules are put in place so that the system can communicate with internal systems.


How To Choose The Model

When choosing a particular model, a few items need to be considered.

1. Security & Privacy Concerns

In most small companies security and privacy of data may not be a critical issue. Considering the widespread use of Google Docs, Gmail, Evernote, and DropBox, small and medium-sized businesses are comfortable placing their information on the internet. However, for larger organizations like banks, ministries, and other multi-national corporations, compliance, and security policies are very tight. In such cases, the organization may choose to host the system within their network so that it can house the data within its servers.

2. Integration Requirements

Large organizations have a variety of systems that house individual information that may be needed for the room booking system to function. For example, Active Directory authentication, SAP HR system for the latest staff information, Finance System to post charges, Content Management Systems such as SharePoint to push event data to the corporate intranet, or interfacing with building automation systems. All these require that the room booking system talks to these third-party systems. Opening up these systems to the internet is usually restricted by policy. So, in this case, the room booking system should be housed within the enterprise.

3. Customization Requirements

If you need to customize the business rules based on your specific needs or some new functionality that must be added to the existing system, then an enterprise model or the dedicated cloud hosting model is favored.

4. Resource Limitations

If you are not certain about the number of resources, users, bookings, and projects that will increase in time, then an enterprise model is just better.


The type of implementation will largely depend on what your needs are. If you require total control over the system and security is of prime importance, then an enterprise licensing model is the best. If you do not need any integrations but need customization of the functionality or business rules, then a dedicated cloud hosting platform is most suitable. All you would require is a system to help you manage the rooms and resources and are comfortable with the existing features, then a subscription-based model will be fine.

Also read on how to build new office tools into new office space

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