If you asked somebody in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) or digital technology industry about cloud computing, they would likely tell you that the cloud is table stakes. (The gist: storing and running software digitally is the base standard.) It might not surprise you to learn that the parking industry lags behind, relying on outdated software and infrastructure. You know the drill—you have to spend thousands of dollars when new equipment is updated, and if something goes wrong with that equipment’s software, you have to wait until someone comes to repair it.
“If you’re planning on staying relevant in the next five years in parking, you should consider a system that runs on the cloud. Owners and operators need to look no further than the direction of the industry as a reason why.”
That’s changing now. Parking owners and operators are adopting the cloud, switching out legacy equipment for hardware and software that make parking frictionless for customers. Changes are happening so swiftly that, often, operators have to adapt while simultaneously learning all about the cloud. Business owners learning the ropes are asking questions like: How does it operate? Are there protocols for cloud security? What makes FlashParking software so easy to implement across locations? Part of the answer lies within FlashParking’s wide network of tech integrations and the hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) model, while the other part is in how we operate specifically on a multi-tenant cloud.
The multi-tenant cloud is a primary reason our users receive such convenient service. It keeps operations efficient and reduces network redundancy. Aside from the key practical benefits cloud-based systems offer, our technology differs from single-tenant cloud systems because it’s powered by Microsoft’s Azure platform. It utilizes the computing space afforded by such a robust system. The results: exceptional stability, along with many benefits.
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What Are The Benefits of Multi-Tenant vs. Single-Tenant?
While there are certain cases in which a single-tenant system might be preferable, they are generally reserved for larger corporations that have the necessity and resources to maintain their own cloud server. They also have the staff that can maintain their own servers as needed. For many other companies, the benefits of multi-tenant architecture are difficult to ignore. With lower barriers to entry, companies will find it easier to adopt multi-tenant systems to match their current needs—particularly parking owners and operators with regional or national locations.
As mentioned in our house analogy, choosing software running on a multi-tenant architecture means the sign-on and management costs are distributed amongst the cloud tenants, or customers. In the case of FlashParking, by utilizing our software, you’re connected to the same cloud as other customers, sharing the costs. Parking operators and owners can take advantage of the lower costs when adopting cloud systems amongst numerous locations.
This is exactly what happened with Parkway Corporation. The Philadelphia-based business chose to implement our FlashOS cloud software across all locations, rather than incur six-figure capital expenditures to update their existing infrastructure. The result is a system that avoids costly maintenance fees and creates a much lower barrier to entry in terms of cost.
Any given update that’s created is shared amongst all customers evenly, because the multi-tenant cloud connects everybody on the same instance. If a particular need arises from one location or business, any core offerings that are changed will become available to other customers in the cloud. This architecture ensures that all customers are privy to the latest updates and receive them with haste. No multi-tenant cloud customer will be left behind.
The parking customer feels the lasting effect. Efficient upgrades ensure that there is a consistent, state-of-the-art frictionless parking experience. An example of this is the introduction of FlashMotion. The direction of the industry and the pandemic have taught us that pushing buttons for parking is a thing of the past. With one eye towards the future, we rolled out a simple sensor and software installation to our existing kiosks. The result is a system that allows customers to receive parking tickets with a wave of their hand, minimizing the contact and interaction with screens and buttons.
The era of fast, seamless, no-touch parking is here. It’s our job to ensure that we’re integrating new tech that makes parking easier. The multi-tenant architecture achieves this by allowing businesses to utilize new integrations right away. Our customers are all connected to the same cloud instance, and there’s no lag between which businesses receive new capabilities first. That means no playing catch-up with competitors.
For instance, as we merge with Arrive, all of our parking businesses will have equal access to the perks. The results are less infrastructure expenses, less costly partnerships, and more resources to focus your attention on other updates. When new capabilities are sent down through the cloud, all that’s left to do is add them to your service package and flip the “on” switch.
In a single-tenant system, it is often incumbent on the customer to spend more resources to maintain a server or cloud instance. That means you need both the staff and the money to maintain your systems. With a multi-tenant architecture, maintenance is often taken care of at the top level. Adjustments are dispersed uniformly amongst the cloud’s multiple customers. Cloud backup is also simple—the architecture keeps your data secure and safe by separating it from other users. This functionality is also what gives Flash the ability to manage Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance for operators. When card processors lose billions each year from data breaches, operators suffer the costs of increased fees to compensate. The multi-tenant architecture provides the power for Flash to manage PCI data standards automatically to save operators from the higher costs.
Multi-tenant systems are also easily scalable because changes can be easily implemented and distributed from a high level. Oftentimes, businesses realize they need more computing power as they expand. When that happens, the existing infrastructure of the cloud will allow for more resources to be used when requested, while costing less than a single-tenant system. If you’ve opened parking assets in new locations, the only thing you’ll have to do is make sure the right hardware is in place. The cloud will already be ready to adapt to your new space.
Multi-tenant architecture is designed to be much more flexible than it’s solitary cousin. These systems are created with a structure that allows for unrelated customers to draw from the same computing technology. To do this, the systems are often plug-and-play. You don’t have to go in and design your own interface or structure.
Once signed with FlashParking, our customers don’t have to worry about setting up their own computing architecture or dashboards. Our dashboard is already ready to use from the onset, with our technology able to be distributed to multiple parking asset locations right away. The amount of energy spent onboarding is often one of the top pain-points for businesses getting on the cloud. It means training, adapting existing systems, and increasing resource capacity. The multi-tenant cloud solves this by saving you time and money on installation.
“Our customers are all connected to the same cloud instance, and there’s no lag between which businesses receive new capabilities first. That means no playing catch-up with competitors.”
When It’s Time To Consider The Cloud
If you’re planning on staying relevant in parking in the next five years, you should consider a system that runs on the cloud. Owners and operators need to look no further than the direction of the industry as a reason why. Parking is now becoming more than just a singular operation, and the standard garage is now adapting to trends in mobility. As more technologies, apps, and integrations are introduced for consumers, businesses will find it challenging to keep up unless they integrate with a cloud system that can consistently harness the powers of the newest innovations.
It’s important to reiterate the key goal any parking operation should have: to make parking as easy as possible. When you’re planning updates to your technology and processes, ask yourself if your systems are optimized for the parker. If not, then consider solutions with a multi-tenant cloud architecture to make sure they are.
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