Quality Innovations: Software on Demand
Getting things done while removing IT headaches is something that appeals to many companies.
Prashanth Rajendran, chief operating officer of Pilgrim Software Inc. (Tampa, FL), has a software model to make companies and their overworked IT departments happy.
While compliance and quality management systems are important, the cost for maintaining the software for these systems can add up over time. When Pilgrim saw a need in the market for Software as a Service (SaaS), the company delivered Pilgrim On-Demand, providing companies with needed software, without the need for customers inheriting the hassles of the required infrastructure management. It is a software application delivery model offering organizations an alternative solution to managing key electronic compliance and quality processes.
Pilgrim’s On-Demand solution, which is run centrally from a SAS 70-certified hosting facility, is delivered on a subscription basis, and includes software, validation packs, maintenance and support. The subscription model is scalable, allowing for expansion or additional application installation.
This offering benefits both customers and their IT departments, which no longer need to maintain the software infrastructure. With no client involvement, the browser-based solution allows for information sharing and collaborative productivity. Advanced built-in security features guarantee the protection of customers’ intellectual property.
About two years ago, Pilgrim launched a managed service offering to select customers, in which Pilgrim would take care of the entire IT infrastructure during the initial implementation of the software. While that model worked fine for some areas, the company found areas to improve; last year it launched the Software as a Service model.
With this subscription model, the customer pays for the software on a periodic basis, not up front. Customers can take advantage of the hosting infrastructure, best practices and the training provided, as well as fast implementation. After registering for the software, clients can begin using it within 48 hours, says Rajendran.
Currently, Pilgrim provides an enterprise caliber solution that can scale from small to medium to large companies. The application is built based on proven best practices for managing nonconformance management, incident management, risk management, corrective and preventive actions, action tracking and any other event tracking processes that a customer wishes to define, such as complaint handling, change control management, internal and external audits, document control, SOP enforcement, employee certification and training.
Rajendran says that the company expects the SaaS business to do well. There is a need in the marketplace for the commodity model, he says, citing vehicles as an example. When first launched, it took a mechanically inclined person to buy and maintain a car. Today drivers can go to a dealership and buy a car without having detailed knowledge of how it all works and drive off the lot.
“Software is moving more and more toward that model,” Rajendran says.
With many IT departments already stretched thin, this is one less thing that they will have to worry about.
However, if the customer is not comfortable with this business model, Pilgrim also offers the traditional software model. These solutions also are available for on-premise purchase for those companies that prefer to run the software on their own servers or in their own data center. In time those customers may switch to the SaaS model; several Pilgrim customers with the traditional model have been considering a transition to the new model.
Rajendran says Pilgrim is the first company of significance doing this in the quality space. However, he welcomes the competition and would like other software companies to begin doing things this way.
“I would rather be in that competitive landscape,” Rajendran says. Instead of doing “missionary selling” and trying to convert people to this model, he would like to compare across other product lines.
Pilgrim says this sales model can help the customer, who no longer has to deal with being on an IT waiting list. Rajendran cites the example of one customer that made a request to IT for the implementation of a compliance and quality management system, who was then told it could be added to the project list for 2011. The Pilgrim software model aims to eliminate these types of IT bottlenecks by providing a completely outsourced solution.
Technology ContactFor more information on Pilgrim’s On-Demand, contact:
- Pilgrim Software Inc.
2807 W. Busch Blvd., Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33618