OK … I’m gonna admit it … I’m old. I’ve been around machine shops and CNC for more years than I wanna remember … since around 1978 to be exact. I cut my teeth on manual machinery in my 20’s … Bullard VTL’s … turret lathes … open side planers … boring mills … radial arm drills … gear cutters … tool and cutter grinders … and on and on. The company where I was a machinist actually rebuilt machinery … so I had the best of both worlds. A machine would come in and you would get assigned to it with the command … rebuild it. That meant finding what was wrong … re-designing the broken parts … then going into the machine shop and making new ones. I loved that job … and it taught me more than I could have ever hoped.
When the opportunity to advance came along … I joined up with the world of CNC. I had the greatest of experiences to take with me … I could fix machines and I could cut metal. I started out as a field service engineer … then applications guy … then manager. Along the way I got some perks like a couple of trips to Japan for training … and I further learnt and upgraded my craft.
When things changed and I was asked to move my reluctant young family across the country … I decided it was time to move on and took that opportunity to start my own business. So in 1986 I started Kentech Inc.. I started out doing machine repair … then turn-key projects for Mori Seiki and other machine tool dealers. Along the way I took an interest in macro programming and then taught myself computer programming … and Kipware® was born. The rest … as they say … it history.
Why Am I Telling My Life Story?
Well if you suffered through the above … you realize … I’m old. But I wear that as a badge … because I have experiences many today can only dream of … and most will never obtain. I make my living now through software running on personal computers … neither one existed for the individual user when I was born. Never mind when I was born … when I was in my twenties … they were still just a distant dream.
So when I talk with the “older” machinists out there who have shops .. even one or two man shops … I hear their hesitancy about cloud computing. The reliability, the security, the whole concept … because I’m coming from the same world. I feel your pain.
But having done the hard work and the research … I can tell you with all honesty … it’s a pain you gotta get over. The benefits of cloud computing are REAL … SIGNIFICANT … and here to stay. And it’s why I moved my company … one of the first CNC and machine shop software developers … to offer it.
Cloud Computing is the FUTURE !!
Here’s WHY …
Let me try to give you some of my main reasons why I feel so strongly about cloud computing … and why I think every user should give it serious consideration. And … in fairness … I also list what I feel might be the biggest cons people might perceive.
- NOTHING TO INSTALL … all applications are run in the cloud … all data can be stored in the cloud or on your local PC … your choice. This is huge … maintaining CD’s and installation files can be very cumbersome. You think you have it … then when the PC crashes … and it will … or you replace the PC … you find out you don’t have it or it doesn’t run on the new operating system. BIG HEADACHE !!
- WORK FROM ANYWHERE … all you need is an internet connection for access. We hear the question all the time with traditional software sales … “How many PC’s can I install this on.” With cloud computing … it’s limited only by internet access. If the PC … or tablet … or phone … has internet access … AND WHAT DEVICE NOWADAYS DOESN’T ??? … you’re running.
- WORK FROM ANY DEVICE … we hear this one too “Does it run on a MAC?” With cloud computing … YES YES YES … on a MAC on ANDROID on LINUX … whatever !! What freedom !!
- NO UPGRADE WORRIES … come on you know this is a major pain. Trying to keep up with upgrades … updates … maintenance agreements and fees … yikes !! With cloud computing … all upgrades, updates, maintenance are FREE … and you’re always running the latest versions of all applications … you’re always using FRESH SOFTWARE with FRESH FEATURES.
- ALWAYS ON CAPABILITY … ALL applications are always available … anytime. Use applications as needs arise … need to create a quote on a Sunday afternoon from home? EWith cloud computing … NO PROBLEM !!
- IMPROVED MOBILITY and IMPROVED COLLABORATION … data and applications are available to employees no matter where they are in the world. Workers can take their work anywhere via smart phones and tablets working even while roaming in the shop or in the plant.
- MORE COST EFFECTIVE … with a predictable monthly expense and with no software, equipment, upgrades and maintenance contracts to purchase … you actually save money over the long term.
- FLEXIBLE CAPACITY … quick and easy to ramp up and add users or additional applications … still with nothing to install or maintain !!
After reviewing the above … I mean REALLY thinking about it … you gotta admit that cloud computing deserves serious consideration. The above are only my favorite reasons … users I’m sure could add many more.
Again … coming from the older generation … below are some of the concerns I originally had regrading cloud computing.
- SECURITY … is my data safe? OK come on … what data? G code programs? Quotations? Estimates? In this particular scenario … The Kipware® Cloud … this is NOT an issue. We’re not talking about storing your banking or company information … our software does not involve anything that would be considered “valuable”.
- SECURITY II : taking the whole security thing a step higher … our hosting company spends all their time hosting and making sure the environment is safe and secure. YOU DON’T EVEN DO THAT !! So we are already way more secure than even your local PC or company network !!
- COST : While it’s true you are paying a continuous monthly expense … for that low fee and for what you get and what you don’t have to deal with … upgrade fees, maintenance fees, equipment, crashes, lost time … it is well worth the fee for the convenience, accessibility, scale ability and reliability.
- INTERNET REQUIRED : come on … really … what device and where isn’t internet accessible? If not now it soon will be everywhere !!
So there you have it … cloud computing from an old man’s perspective.
BUT … we get it. Cloud computing might still be not right for you. That’s why we offer the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. You can still purchase any and all Kipware® titles using the traditional delivery via CD or downloadable installation file for installation on a local PC. We aim to please.
If you are considering one or more of our Kipware® REAL WORLD software titles for your shop … your programming … your estimating … I would invite you to seriously consider The Kipware® Cloud. More information and complete pricing and package details can be found here at www.KipwareSoftware.com .
Thank you for your software interest … and for reviewing an old man’s post !!
Kenney Skonieczny – President