What is Hardware as a Service and Why Is It Important?
Over the past couple of years the term “software as a service” (SaaS) has risen in prominence to describe applications as delivered over the Internet rather than as an installed piece of software. For example, Microsoft Word must be installed on a computer in order to function, whereas Google Docs can be accessed through any internet browser – which makes them a fantastic SaaS example. The end user does not own the Google Docs software, they simply access it. The guiding principle behind SaaS was/is ease of use and accessibility. Hardware as a Service (HaaS), however, is for technologies that require more than just access to a browser to function but that still require ease of use and accessibility. Under a HaaS model, both hardware and software may be contracted or licensed to the end user by a managed service provider who installs the equipment, maintains the equipment, and handles helpdesk support.
Why Contract Hardware?
Owning a piece of technology hardware often requires a significant investment. Beyond the initial capital expenditure, ongoing upkeep and maintenance becomes the responsibility of the owner. Additionally, rapid technological advances make it difficult to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to owned hardware. Contracting hardware, however, requires less of an upfront expense and allows end users to upgrade more frequently. With contracted equipment, end users always have access to cutting edge technology.
The Service Behind Hardware as a Service
The Haas model doesn’t just include hardware, it includes service as well. Under a HaaS model, the end user can expect both hardware and software, along with installation and maintenance. HaaS providers offer a full technology solution from front to back for a simple monthly fee.
For an example, let’s consider a telehealth solution. A hospital determines that they need an in-house telehealth solution to connect patients in the hospital with specialists. A HaaS provider would provide the following: telehealth carts that can be easily moved around the hospital, telehealth software to place high quality, HIPAA compliant calls between patients and providers, installation (which might include configuration with IT and in-service training for end users), and ongoing support and device maintenance. If a component of the cart breaks, the HaaS provider will handle it. If the software stops working, the HaaS company will handle it. HaaS is a fantastic solution for any company looking to install a complicated service like telehealth or video conferencing.
The IDS Difference
As a video conferencing integrator, IDS brings together the best in video conferencing hardware and software. Our experts can handle workflow integration, training and installing, and ongoing support, no matter which hardware and software you choose to use. We have developed our own proprietary telehealth carts (read more about our VCS Series here), but can integrate, install, and support any equipment regardless of whether it is contracted or owned.
Our workflow integration sets us apart from other HaaS providers and video conferencing integrators. We never provide an out-of-the-box solution. Instead, we take the time to understand the unique needs of your business or healthcare facility. We will build video conferencing into your existing processes so that the end result is seamless communication. We are never looking to change your business…we simply enhance it with improved video conferencing technology.
If you are interested in learning more about HaaS or IDS, visit our Contact Us page now.