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Why the Future of Estimating is Subscription

Subscription services are nothing new, with the world increasingly moving towards a subscription economy. In fact, the Software as a Service (SaaS) market is predicted to be currently worth around $145 billion. But what about within the construction and digital software industry? In this blog, we explore why companies are increasingly shifting to SaaS solutions.

The construction landscape is ever-changing, as new products and new approaches make their way into the industry. In fact, one approach that is recently being embraced by the industry is the Software as a Service (SaaS) model; a software licencing and delivery model in which software is licenced on a subscription basis. In the MEP sector, more and more companies are switching to the subscription model of managing their business and software assets.

But what is the driving force behind this change? While there are many factors at play, perhaps the shift is ultimately down to the fact that subscription models offer a more flexible, accessible and easy way of consuming services and products. This need for flexibility was of course further highlighted by the Coronavirus pandemic, with companies challenged like never before and workforces spread across the country - people want the ability to work remotely . 

So, what is the difference between a permanent (or perpetual) software licence and a subscription software licence? 

As the name suggests, permanent licences are permanently available to your company against the payment of a one-off licence fee. While the licence is always available to you, there is a high price point investment to be considered. On top of that, you will often not have automatic, long-term access to ongoing product updates or technical support; instead you would need to purchase a separate software maintenance contract.   

In comparison, a subscription licence gives your company the rights of use for the software for the respective period – usually a year - upon payment of a recurring set price fee. A subscription model can give you quick access to the software without major initial investment, and the maintenance of the software (updates and technical support) is included too.

So, why should you consider switching your Estimation products to a subscription model? 

Flexible and adaptable

One of the biggest benefits of a subscription service, and one of the reasons why more businesses are moving to the SaaS approach, is the inherent flexibility that it offers. Hybrid working has increasingly become the norm, driven first and foremost by the employees. It is logical that software licencing follows the same flexibility as the working week.

For one, companies can easily scale the number of licences they own based on their individual needs, such as in the event of personnel changes within the team. Subscription licences can also be adapted to better fit the needs of different roles and business types, with a variety of packages and/or bundles offered in order to ensure a suitable solution. 

In terms of added flexibility, users can easily access the software via the cloud and web browser wherever they have a working internet connection, whether that be at home, on site or in a coffee shop. A cloud-based workflow like this will help to facilitate more effective remote working and enhanced collaboration between project teams. With Trimble MEP, our subscription also offers named user licences, ensuring that users have access to the software that has been activated for them at all times.

Always working with the best solution

Another benefit of moving to a subscription-based licence is assurance that you will always be working with the very best estimation software version available. In fact, users will benefit from the various updates, enhancements and improvements that are released over the course of the year.

As if that wasn’t enough, optimisations can also be implemented faster, easier and more consistently.

Low acquisition costs

Of course, a big concern and consideration for many companies looking for a new digital estimation software will be the cost. The previous perpetual licence approach carried with it a large upfront cost, which could be difficult for businesses, especially those with younger professionals and smaller planning offices, to budget for. With subscription licencing, the acquisition costs are both smaller and also more predictable, occurring on a yearly basis, making them easier to plan and budget for.   

As well as presenting lower financial risks, these smaller acquisition costs also make software and the digital way of working more accessible for businesses.

At Trimble, we offer an all-in-one subscription package for MEP Estimators and Project Managers to perform estimates, takeoffs and managed contracts, all on the cloud. With the subscription model, we provide named user licencing with a single access point for all modules. With this one subscription, you get access to all required estimating and product management modules.

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