What is a Cloud Based Dispatch System?
19th September 2019
‘Cloud computing’ is a term that is used a lot these days.
The term ‘cloud-based dispatch system’ is used specifically when it comes to taxi dispatch and automation systems.
But what does it actually mean?
And what are the benefits of a cloud-based dispatch system compared to a traditional software-based system?
In this article, we’ll explain the key elements of a cloud-based system (like iCabbi) and explain what it can mean for your business.
No Servers – Everything Through a Browser
With a cloud-based dispatch system, you don’t need to buy, maintain and update a server.
That’s because everything is accessed and run through a normal web browser, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, which accesses a server based in a huge data centre (or network of data centres).
In the case of iCabbi, your data is hosted on the world-leading Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.
That means that any reasonably new computers will easily handle the requirements. If your computers can reliably access the Internet, then they can almost certainly run a cloud-based system.
You can log on and access your cloud-based dispatch system from any Internet connected device, from anywhere in the world.
Note of Caution: One thing to be aware of is that some taxi dispatch systems claim to be cloud-based but still require you to download software onto a PC before you can connect to their cloud-based servers.
This negates many of the benefits of a fully cloud-based dispatch system as you lose the ability to connect from anywhere of your choosing via a browser and an Internet connection.
No Updates to Install
Being a cloud-based system means that all updates to the system are done ‘behind the scenes’ by the provider.
This means that’s there’s never any time-consuming software updates for you to download and install, potentially locking up your system in the process – leaving you to focus on your business without any interruptions.
What’s more, it also means that all your driver devices get automatic updates. Fast, efficient and hassle-free.
Automatic Free Updates
Another benefit that a cloud-based system like iCabbi has over a traditional software system, is that any updates that are required by your system are free and implemented regularly and automatically.
That not only means that all the latest developments in technology, new features, fixes and improvements get added to your system as soon as they are available, but it all happens without any fuss and without any additional cost on your part.
After all, no-one likes getting surprise invoices for updates they didn’t realise they had to pay for, which can happen with some traditional software systems (and unfortunately some cloud-based systems).
What Happens if our Broadband Goes Down?
Perhaps the most common, and understandable, concern with cloud-based dispatch systems is about the reliability of the broadband connection you’re using.
After all, if the connection goes down, you can’t access the Internet and you’ll be without a system to run your business, right?
Well, it’s true that your connection is important, but at the same time, cloud-based systems don’t require super-fast broadband to work efficiently.
That means that even with a lower speed service, which may be the only one available in a more rural area, it’s plenty to run your dispatch system.
What’s more, if the worst happens and your broadband does go down, your drivers and even your base operations can still access the system through a mobile device, using mobile data or a hot-spot connection on your smartphone.
If your business is large enough you may also consider a back-up Internet connection to provide an extra layer of reliability.
In reality, with reliable Internet access and several alternative ways to connect – a cloud-based server is a lot more reliable, has higher uptime and has better backup systems than an old-style office-based server.
Is Cloud-Based really 100% Genuinely Cloud-Based?
Some providers claim they are cloud-based but actually require you to download and install some software onto the PC you are connecting from.
It makes it harder for operators that may be based at home as before they can log-in and take bookings they will need to go through an update process. Are all of your staff technologically savvy enough to do this? Many aren’t.
What’s more, the installation of this non-cloud-based software usually requires extra log on credentials – not just the user’s name and password, but details that are usually reserved for the business owner, which compromises your security.
The reality is that if your new dispatch system is not 100% ‘in the cloud’, it isn’t going to deliver the benefits you want and need.
You won’t be able to use it everywhere you want to and you’ll have to deal with downloading and installing updates that could end up being a hassle and also a security risk – all of which are non-issues with a genuine, 100% cloud-based system such as iCabbi.
Your Next Dispatch System Should be Cloud-Based…
Cloud-based dispatch systems offer so many benefits over a traditional server-based system that the alternatives just can’t compete.
Even considering the need to have a reliable Internet connection (and access to a back-up solution), the flexibility, hassle free ongoing updates, the low set-up cost (no need for new PCs or IT equipment), and ease of access for all your staff, mean that a cloud-based system is the future.