Cloud Based Ecosystems Explained

Written by Integrated Skills

Dec 8, 2014

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Cloud Based Eco Systems

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cloud based eco systemEverything to do with software appears to be going into the “Cloud”…. whatever that means! Cloud-based computing is a stock term employed loosely to describe all computing resources – from hardware to sophisticated route optimisation software– that is accessed solely via a remote connection to the Internet. Nothing, save the icon on the screen, resides on the laptop, PC, server or device from which access is gained.
Cloud computing is concerned with access to shared web-based resources as opposed to individual or personal hardware and software locations. In the context of route optimisation and route planning, this would mean all transport planners as well as other interested parties could access the appropriate vehicle routing software on demand. It means that such users can see for themselves what is occurring in a given set of applications without having to generate the query themselves.
There are several types of cloud computing:
Public Cloud: Where all services are hosted by a cloud provider and accessed via the internet. It is unlikely that any logistics company or transport based operation would have its dynamic vehicle routing software (or equivalent) hosted in this manner.
Private Cloud: Where all applications such as the multi-drop planner, route optimisation, GIS and associated software are held by a private or company network. Here the part of the data pertaining to a particular client, stored on the application, would only be accessible by that customer.
Hybrid Cloud: As the term suggests this is a combination of private and public cloud computing.
In terms of payment models associated with cloud computing many sectors – utilities, waste & recycling, parcel & postal services, logistics – are increasingly turning to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to meet their vehicle route planning and route optimisation requirements.
What Is a Cloud Based Ecosystem?
In Ecology, an ecosystem is defined as the entirety of complex interactions that occur between the different organisms which live in a given habitat and the environment that supports them. A cloud ecosystem is a construct which describes the complexity of various components that must work together to provide the best possible service to users. In the context of delivery route planning software and route optimisation, this includes the computing infrastructure itself, those who require access to it and any other factors concerning the cloud ecosystem. To ensure that such constructs operate as efficiently as they should, they are generally seen as a service accessible to all as opposed to a product for sale.
Cloud Computing and the Parcel & Post, Utilities and Logistics Sectors
A parcel and post, utility or logistics company is almost certainly going to have a multi-drop route planner, frequency planning or equivalent core component of its route optimisation software package. A logistics and transport based company that uses a cloud-based ecosystem will seek to connect organisations, mutual business interests, relevant data as well streamline where ever possible inefficiencies in the supply chain. Furthermore, through detailed analysis of route optimisation and route planning software distributors and clients are presented with a framework by which they can develop new, or improve existing routes and business models. A cloud-based ecosystem, when delivered in combination with a SaaS model, allows all agencies involved in supply chain logistics to work as efficiently and collaboratively as possible.
The logistics, utility and parcel and post sectors each present unique challenges to cloud computing. Irrespective of the actual software used in delivery route planning and route optimisation, the internet and access to it, is clearly the foundation for delivering the best possible solution in cloud ecosystem computing. So ensure you have suitable bandwidth and updated web Internet browsers when considering Cloud based solutions for route optimisation and delivery / collection route planning.

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