Innovative Computing Celebrating 10 Years of Providing SaaS
April 23, 2009 08:00 AM
Ernest Betancourt President/CEO Innovative Computing Corporation
Innovative Computing Corporation, a pioneer in Software as a Service (SaaS) for the trucking industry, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the industry’s first fully integrated enterprise software available via the Internet.
Initially installed in 1999, Innovative’s online customer base has grown on average nearly 20% per year for each of the past 5 years. This steady increase followed an immediate growth spurt in the initial years of Innovative’s SaaS offering, which at one point saw a 57% annual growth in SaaS customers. Innovative’s SaaS offerings have since grown to manage and dispatch a combined total in excess of 82,000 loads each month. As an enterprise system, not only can carriers dispatch trucks, but they can also manage their accounting, maintenance and safety through one, online system.
Through Innovative’s SaaS offerings, IES Access® and Access Plus®, small and mid-sized customers are able to take advantage of an enterprise software system used by many of the most successful carriers in the industry without adding expenses in staff or hardware and without the related concerns. This combination allows carriers to focus on trucking, not systems management.
Big G Express of Shelbyville, TN has been an Innovative customer since 1994. In 2003, Big G made the decision to move from running Innovative Enterprise Software® (IES®) on their own hardware to the online version of that software via Innovative’s Access Plus. Big G president Jack Marsh points out that, now running over 300 trucks, Big G continues to enjoy comfort and security as an Innovative SaaS Customer.
“When we started Big G Express with 5 trucks, we were on Innovative Software. We knew that being on Innovative was where we wanted to be in the long run, so we started on it from the beginning to avoid any conversion later when we got bigger. In 2003, when we acquired another trucking company, we decided to move to Innovative’s Access Plus SaaS system. This allowed us to quickly add an additional location to our computer system and allowed us to grow without having to worry about the hardware and software considerations,” said Marsh.
Innovative’s SaaS customers also rely on the proven strength and reliability of the IBM Power™ server and i™ operating system. As a result, Innovative’s SaaS customers have enjoyed 24x7 availability of their system with over 99% uptime across the 10 years of the program’s use. As an online offering, even if a customer’s own office is closed, that customer can still manage their company from wherever they have Internet access.
Marsh concurred and went on to say “We decided that we wanted to focus on the trucking business and to outsource the complexities of making sure we had a secure, reliable, and expandable computer system. Our whole business is built around our computer systems and we had to know that we could be assured of no down time. Innovative has performed up to our expectations.”
When asked about the success of the SaaS model, Innovative President Ernie Betancourt points to the inherent ease of operations and cost savings found within IES Access and Access Plus that are now accessible to carriers ranging in size from ten to over 400 trucks per company.
“We believed it in 1999 and continue to stand by the fact that SaaS is the way of the future for a large number of trucking companies. With Innovative’s SaaS systems, small and mid-sized carriers are benefiting from the same enterprise-level cost savings, efficiency and security that larger carriers require while significantly reducing their own hardware and administrative costs,” said Betancourt.
Innovative’s SaaS systems offer several key benefits. Critical among these is the protection of a fully parallel system running duplicate software, data, connections and hardware at an off-site location. This redundancy means that should an emergency occur, Innovative customers know that their system, including its third-party tools such as mobile comm., fuel, EDI, mileage and imaging, will be ready for them on short notice. All that is required is an Internet connection for their company to be back online. In addition, Innovative’s SaaS-based customers also know that their hardware, security, interfaces and related updates are constantly managed for them.
“The Access Plus system also provides a great peace of mind – knowing that the system is secure, the system is backed up, the software is up to date, the operating system is current, the professionals are there to deal with hardware problems, and that there is an off-site mirrored system in case of disaster. We believe to have this level of expertise in house would be cost prohibitive. It has been a good partnership thus far,” said Marsh.
Due to Innovative’s ability to serve small and mid-sized carriers, they are also software provider participating in the American Trucking Associations Carrier Savings Program (ATACS). The ATACS is considered one of the benefits of being a member of ATA and is specifically designed to help small and mid-sized carriers operate more efficiently by offering rebates and discounts from industry-leading vendors.
“Innovative has grown in what we provide both in terms of software and services. Experience has taught us how to provide a SaaS system able to efficiently manage a broad range of companies, their equipment and their staff, while backing that with the protection of a truly redundant Hot Site,” said Betancourt. “There are newer companies out there saying they have the functionality that Innovative offers, but the fact is: only Innovative has the proven track record that customers can rely upon.”
Innovative Computing Corporation is a leading provider of enterprise level software and service solutions to the truckload motor carrier industry. Innovative software is available via local Systems or via the Internet. With 40 years of experience progressively serving the industry, Innovative is installed in hundreds of fleets throughout the US and Canada. Innovative's customer base includes customers ranging in fleet size from less than 10 to more than 10,000 trucks. Innovative Computing Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of BetaZone, Inc., 750 Old Hickory Blvd., Suite 290, Brentwood, TN 37027.