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The asset management software dilemma: develop yourself or buy off the shelf

15th April 2021

So you’ve made the decision to ditch the spreadsheets and invest in an integrated asset data system that will give you greater control and visibility over your renewable energy assets. 

But that’s just the first step. It can be difficult to decide where to go next. Do you buy off-the-shelf software or go to the effort of developing a system in-house? Both have benefits and draw-backs. 

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A third option 

There is a third, quite different approach – a platform which allows you to get started quickly but without sacrificing control. And, crucially, avoid needing to start a software product from scratch. 

This approach to software development is at the very heart of Sennen. The company was founded as a result of the many frustrations that renewable energy companies face when they realise they need more robust digital architecture. 

CTO Paul Grimshaw was on the hunt for a tool that enabled the rapid development of applications so that asset management systems could be built in a modular way, quickly and easily. He didn’t find one, so he set about creating it – and Sennen was born. 

Build vs Buy software

A simple, modular platform 

Sennen’s core offer is a simple, intuitive platform that handles the essential aspects of asset management: projects, equipment, ownership, roles etc. It can be deployed and populated fast. From there, you decide how to develop the system. 

You choose from a set of powerful asset management modules – KPIs, contracts, HSE and task management to name just a few – that have been developed by a team of experienced industry professionals. Click here to request a list of modules and our development roadmap. 

Sennen then works closely with you to translate your ideas into new modules, exclusively for you, which fit seamlessly within the system.  

Take control  

Alternatively, with modest coding experience, we’ll train you to create your own bespoke applications and dashboards. All our clients have taken advantage of this service and can now extend and customise their own systems.  

This gets round the problem of being tied to a software developer and the associated dependency risks. It also means you are in control of the system development at each step of the way, rather than racking up huge costs on an entire build programme. Read more about some classic problems faced by in-house development projects here.

One of our fundamental beliefs is that you should have full control over your own data. A Sennen system can be hosted in your own cloud environment and we facilitate open data access through API or directly to the database. 

This tackles the problem associated with off-the-shelf software where data can’t be accessed in its raw format and you cannot connect to the database as it’s not permitted. In this situation, you have to rely on data sent to you via email – a clunky process that is definitely not in line with data security best practice. 

Re-think and reap rewards 

Sennen’s third way is an innovation for the industry. It gives you the freedom to develop tools that harness your unique expertise and create company IP. You only pay for the parts of the system that bring value to you and you retain complete control of your data. It’s a faster, less costly and lower risk method of system development and enables companies to completely re-think how they digitise their operations. 

Get in touch here to request a product data sheet to find out Sennen can be tailored to suit your exact requirements.