In my last blog post, I compared Cloud or Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) to the increasing popularity of renting a hot water tank. In this post, I want to share the backstory on the specific challenges that one of our clients was facing, and how this lead to a new parking enforcement service.
Almost three years ago, an organization decided to invest in an automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system to improve parking enforcement. The server-based system required IT involvement for initial setup and regular maintenance. In the initial setup phase, the IT department seemed surprised that the parking department needed IT resources at all, because in the past they never needed IT support. After a few discussions, we determined how the system would be installed on their network, and what needed to be done to comply with existing IT policies. It seemed like everyone was jumping over hurdles since the security policies were very much suited to their existing core business, not parking.
Our certified technicians were able to get the system up and running smoothly. Within a week, the system went down. Both the parking and IT departments came together to try to resolve the issue. When all troubleshooting failed, they called us and we deployed an on-site technician. After some initial diagnosis, our team realized that the IT department would do mandatory updates to any machine connected to their network, some of which were not compatible with the parking system by default. This would cause the system to regularly go offline. We always fixed the issues, and everything seemed to be working for a few months, until BAM! A different update interfered with the system again. These issues can generally be avoided as long as we could prevent the server from receiving those updates, but IT policies mandated that every network-connected device be open to updates, even parking. After two years of IT issues the clients became very unhappy.
That’s when we decided to ‘rent them the water tank’. We introduced the very first version of AutoVu ™ Managed Services, a cloud-hosted parking enforcement system. This meant that the client no longer needed to have a server to run the application, and the local IT updates were no longer affecting the system. We could easily pull permit information into the cloud, where parking permit and scofflaw databases are kept up to date. After moving to AutoVu Managed Services, there were a few noticeable results:
- The new deployment was done remotely with no technicians required on site
- When the client had any questions, they called the parking centric supplier directly for support. Again, all of the troubleshooting was handled remotely
- Whenever they wanted a change or modification, the supplier’s in-depth knowledge of the parking system was a phone call away
In the end, the cloud-hosted and managed parking solution was the right choice for this client. The AutoVu™ system was working at peak efficiency, which meant the client could focus on what they knew best– parking. They no longer had worries about managing the back-end, because that was someone else’s job.
If you have IT challenges, AutoVu Managed Services could be the right parking enforcement solution for your organization. Learn more about AMS here or read about how the City of Richmond is making AutoVu Managed Services work for them.