Hosted vs. On-Premises: Which is Right for You?
Because our software is PA-DSS certified, Bluebird Auto Rental Systems is the only major software vendor able to offer auto rental customers the choice of an on-premises solution or a hosted solution. We recognize that one size does not fit all and that our customers have differing needs and considerations to take into account. Vehicle rental software is the sole focus of our company, enabling us to provide the most complete range of options to our customers. Below is a description of each solution and the major factors to consider when determining which solution is the best fit for your business.
A hosted solution is where Bluebird hosts the auto rental company's data on one of our servers at our PCI-DSS compliant data center, built and managed by Amazon Web Services, a leader in the SaaS (software as a service) and Cloud Computing community.
With a hosted solution, the auto rental company provides the PC workstations and printers to be used by their employees. In addition, each workstation must have Internet broadband connectivity and reside behind a configured firewall. Bluebird's hosting partner, Amazon, provides the servers, bandwidth, load balancers, firewalls, switches, routers, server operating systems, and 24x7 network management and support in their PCI-DSS compliant data centers around the world. Amazon also manages the nightly backup of customer data.
A customer who chooses a hosted deployment of RentWorks pays a non-refundable start-up fee for each user, plus an ongoing flat or per transaction fee. In addition, there is a monthly hosting fee for the secure network infrastructure provided by Amazon. This is in lieu of the 'right to use' license and software support fees associated with an on-premises deployment. The monthly fees include Bluebird support, nightly backups with 28-day retention, and free service pack updates.
The major benefit of a hosted solution is the ability to use the software without the inherent risks of building and maintaining a secure network. However, that does not absolve the auto rental company from following PCI-DSS mandated secure procedures at their own location. There are also substantial capital outlay savings, because with the hosted solution there is no need to purchase servers, server operating systems, Progress database licenses, or the Bluebird RentWorks 'right to use' licenses.
An on-premises installation of Bluebird's RentWorks software is where the data and programs reside on a customer-built network at the auto rental company's facility. In this configuration, the customer purchases a 'right to use' license from Bluebird for the appropriate number of users, and has the option to pay Bluebird a monthly support fee (for technical assistance with the software and free periodic service pack updates).
With an on-premise solution, the auto rental company supplies the servers, switches, routers, server operating systems, firewalls, and network administration for the environment. They are also responsible for the security of their data and for obtaining nightly backups of the data.
The main concern for any customer installing RentWorks on their own in-house network will be security. The major credit card brands have instituted the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards)which dictate rigid requirements that must be met by all merchants in order to protect card holder data. There are two main components to the standard: the software that processes credit card transactions, and the network on which it resides. RentWorks version 4 has been certified as a compliant application for the processing and storing of credit card data. With an on-premises solution, it is the auto rental company's responsibility to ensure that the network on which the software resides meets the PCI-DSS standards.
The benefits of an on-premises installation are: 1) the auto rental company can leverage existing networks and administrators, and 2) have in-house control of their data, which may be important for some.
Whichever solution works best for your situation, Bluebird has you covered.