CAFM Evolution and Innovation ...the future of Tabs Systems
Since 1992, Tabs FM Ltd have supplied the Facilities Management industry with advanced Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software systems. A product which organically grew from close monitoring of the FM industry and close collaboration with clients, spans over forty modules across three platforms and consists of logically thought-out functionality.
Since the early incarnations of the product suite, technological advances offered greater scope for system performance and possibilities. The early releases of the product continued to support technological advances through constant modifications and adaptions. However, considering the life span of the product to date, future proofing and re-energising Tabs Systems using newer technology is high on the agenda.
In 2007, Tabs FM embarked on a redevelopment program of the core system interface. The aim was to break the restraints placed by the current platform and support system deliverability/sustainability for the foreseeable future. After an intense Research and Development phase, a .Net Framework and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) language was chosen as the platform and technology for the re-development of the core management application. The chosen technology offered great opportunities to enhance user interaction and supports simpler deployment and development.
At the time of selecting the future technology, the presence of purely web based CAFM systems had evolved dramatically. The decision to develop a purely web or PC based application was a difficult one to make. To solve the issue, the development team produced an infrastructure that has the power to deploy as either a Local Network/PC –Based application, or as truly Web Based CAFM solution from a centrally developed application.
As expected, the development of the core architecture and re-development of all existing functionality/reports across the range of modules, took a considerable amount of time. The development team worked around the clock, developing, testing and reengineering the new CAFM system.
In addition to the system rebuild, the development team introduced new features, modules and system enhancements, such as ‘Drag and Drop’, ‘Drill-Through’ report analysis, CRM/Enquiry Management/Global Works Planner/Auto Project Analyser/Event Management /Intelligent Survey/Resource Panning modules. Tabs Systems has evolved extensively and will continue to provide a supporting and centralised software solution for many clients.
Some of the technical and user benefits include:
- High level data security
- Great flexibility and opportunity for our development
- Improved version control
- Simplified upgrade procedures
- More options around deployment
- Concise, intuitive display forms
- Advanced search facilities
- Improved associated document management
- Enhanced user interaction
- Contemporary, familiar look and feel
For years Microsoft led the field in mobile technology for Facilities Management and other commercial sectors for rugged business devices. In recent years the procurement of Smart Phones and Tablet devices has grown rapidly. With reduced hardware costs and exciting possibilities provided by mobile technology, the Facilities Management industry has steadily moved forward with deploying iOS and Android mobile hardware solutions to streamline operations. Tabs FM have seen this reflected in the arena of rugged devices also, with the introduction of Android operating system on selected rugged hardware. With iOS and Android competing strongly against Windows Mobile in the mobile arena, Tabs FM’s talented development team have created new system interfaces for all three of these platforms, ensuring that no matter the mobile hardware a client wishes to use, a compatible solution is available.
Tabs FM began previewing the new product release in early 2012. The new systems were also presented at the Facilities Show 2012, with a fantastic response.
An official product launch party is scheduled for the 12th of June 2012, where all aspects of the new system will be discussed, including hands on experience. All Tabs FM’s clients have been invited to this landmark event in Tabs FMs history.
These are exciting times for Tabs FM. It’s been almost 5 years considered and steady development that has today produced the path one of the world’s most technically advanced CAFM solutions.