On cloud PaaS: get new software quickly and flexibly
Application Platform as a Service (PaaS for short) is the tool of the moment. But what does this mean for the future of software development?
dorma+kaba relies on the Swisscom Application Cloud to develop new, high-availability access solutions with greater agility and bring them to market more quickly.
The dorma+kaba Group is one of the world’s leading providers of security and access solutions. The Group has been a pioneer in digitisation for years. With exivo, Kaba will be launching an Internet-based access solution for small and medium-sized enterprises in spring 2016. exivo allows access systems to be planned, configured, ordered, and installed with ease; and rights can be assigned dynamically.
The solution, which is designed for mechanical as well as electronic applications, runs on a central platform. Sales partners and end users procure the required functions as Software as a Service. Patrik Eigenmann, Program Manager exivo, explains: “exivo is revolutionising our business model: away from the product towards the services business. This calls for all those involved to have a rethink, but it also provides opportunities.” At present, faults would primarily trigger customer contact. In the future, you could take a proactive approach, have direct contact with the customer and develop new services with the customer in mind. The focus is then not on new technical features, but on the security needs of the customers. For the first time, the partners, of which there are approximately 40, can provide their own services on the platform and secure recurring sales, for example by controlling escape routes themselves or directly providing fire safety measures.
The security services provider is developing the new solutions in the Swisscom Application Cloud. The development team can concentrate fully on developing attractive application functions on the Platform as a Service (PaaS) environment. The Swisscom Cloud Service in a private environment takes care of all the inconvenient administration and configuration tasks for the customer. Thanks to PaaS, dorma+kaba achieves the required agility and plans to launch new features on the market on a monthly basis.
A decisive factor for dorma+kaba is that the Swisscom PaaS environment is tailored to its own architecture. Andreas Häberli, CTO of the dorma+kaba Group, says: “Our developers speak the same language and we were able to influence the technical framework.” Swisscom uses modern software design methods, such as the functional breakdown of software into loosely coupled cloud-native microservices that can be scaled horizontally and adjusted with ease. Furthermore, with Cloud Foundry, Swisscom uses the de facto standard for cloud-native, open-source platforms.
“exivo is revolutionising our business model: away from the product towards the services business. This calls for all those involved to have a rethink, but it also provides opportunities.”
Swisscom’s billing model is also persuasive. Andreas Häberli: “Swisscom simply provides clear, linear scaling pricing. This is the best fit for our business model and protects us from expensive hardware investments.” Data storage in Switzerland and security were also a crucial deciding factor. Small and medium-sized enterprises could hardly achieve the security level of a continuously managed cloud with their local networks, says Andreas Häberli, addressing potential security concerns that the SME partners and customers might have.
The partnership is beneficial to both sides. While dorma+kaba can rely on state-of-the-art Swisscom technology and expertise, Swisscom benefits from its industry expertise and can expand its own cloud offering. Marcel Walker, Head of Cloud & Datacenter Services at Swisscom Enterprise Customers, says: “As a traditional Swiss company, we share the same values, have the same drive for innovation leadership and want to offer our customers simple, inspiring and secure solutions. The collaboration ensures that a value-adding ecosystem of users, developers and providers emerges on the Swisscom Cloud.”