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What is SaaS Licensing?

If you’re a plant manager or operations leader researching production monitoring and smart factory software solutions, you’ve likely come across the term “SaaS” or Software-as-a-Service. But what exactly does SaaS mean? And what are the implications of choosing a SaaS-licensed manufacturing software like Mingo Smart Factory? This article will explore SaaS licensing, how it applies to manufacturing software, and what to look for when evaluating SaaS production monitoring solutions.

SaaS Licensing Defined

SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Service. It refers to software that is hosted in the cloud and delivered to end users via the internet. Rather than having to install the software on machines or servers on-premises, SaaS applications are accessed through a web browser or mobile app. Think of the old school CD-ROMs that you would buy and then hand off to your IT department to install. Nowadays most software is purchased online and download it immediately, then receive regular patch updates.

The SaaS model is one form of cloud computing. The software vendor handles all of the infrastructure, data storage, security, updates, and maintenance in their cloud environment. Users simply log into the SaaS application through an internet connection and pay a recurring subscription fee. The subscription package level is often based on the number of users or other usage metrics.

How SaaS Applies to Manufacturing Software

As Internet speeds increase and technology becomes more ubiquitous, manufacturing companies are adopting SaaS solutions as part of their technology stack across various use cases – ERP, MES, CMMS, quality management, production monitoring and more. There are many benefits of the SaaS model for manufacturers including:

  • Lower upfront costs and predictable expenses via the subscription model
  • No infrastructure investments or ongoing maintenance required
  • Automatic updates with the latest features and security
  • High availability and scalability handled by the SaaS vendor
  • Access the software anytime, anywhere via the cloud

When it comes to production monitoring, deploying a SaaS solution like Mingo Smart Factory can accelerate time-to-value. There’s no need to provision servers, databases, and other infrastructure. The best part is the lack of need for a dedicated IT department to keep the software running after the initial installation. Once machine data sources are connected, the software is ready to provide real-time production insights via an intuitive cloud application. Simply put, SaaS software is built for manufacturers to use on day one. Subscription software is cheaper than perpetual licenses.

SaaS Licensing Subscription Models

Most SaaS manufacturing software follows a subscription-based pricing model, with different tiers of service. Fees are typically charged monthly or annually. Different packages are based on the number of users, data volume, connected machines/facilities, features or other usage parameters. For example, Mingo Smart Factory offers three main pricing tiers for manufacturers – Lean, Black Belt, and Enterprise.

Evaluating SaaS Production Monitoring Solutions

When assessing SaaS production monitoring and smart factory platforms, look for the following characteristics of a robust, secure, and scalable solution:

Cloud Architecture & Scalability: The ability for the software to automatically scale up computing resources and data storage as your manufacturing operations and data needs grow over time.

Deployment Options: While the software should be cloud-hosted, look for flexibility in connecting to machine data sources. Solutions that support cloud connectors, on-premise gateways, and edge computing can provide more optionality.

Security & Compliance: SaaS licensing platforms built on major cloud providers like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud will inherent cloud security best practices. Certifications like SOC 2 are also important for manufacturing environments. Data encryption, role-based access controls, audit trails, and customer data ownership policies are also critical for secure deployments.

Uptime & Support: As a cloud solution, look for SaaS vendors that provide high levels of application uptime with SLAs, monitoring, and robust support services.

Roadmap & Innovation: Since SaaS licensing by nature provides a continuous stream of updates, assess the vendor’s product roadmap and commitment to ongoing innovation aligned with manufacturing use cases.

The SaaS landscape in the field of manufacturing is rapidly evolving. More solutions continue to emerge that provide scalable, cloud-based production monitoring, IoT connectivity, analytics and optimization capabilities. If you are in the market for a SaaS licensing solution, carefully consider the total cost of ownership, security requirements, and long-term scalability needs of a SaaS solution for your operations. Contact Mingo Smart Factory for more information and to schedule a demo today.

Picture of Alyxandra Sherwood
Alyxandra Sherwood
Digital Marketing Manager @ Mingo Smart Factory I Adjunct Professor @ SUNY Geneseo I Boston Marathoner I Second Street Award Winner I Media Professional with 15 Years Experience