Directions Magazine (DM): The term “asset management” has been floated in the GIS community for many years. What aspects weren’t being addressed that prompted you to offer another solution?
Sam Solt (SS):Clear Path Explorer (CPX) was designed to meet the market needs for a user-friendly, cost effective, Web-based digital asset management system. We felt it was important to build a system that could be readily adapted to work flow solutions with a minimum of client burden. We believe that CPX’s Web and mapping components are two very significant design criteria that were missing in the market.
DM: Your core product, Clear Path Explorer (CPX), reads like a GIS tweaked for asset management. Is that a fair description?
SS:Our system was designed as a digital asset management system from the ground up – including the relevant mapping components.
Clear Path Explorer can best be viewed by looking at the intersection of three spheres. Our implementation model started by defining the digital asset management feature set. We then enhanced the product by integrating location functionality. CPX’s utility is ultimately and significantly enhanced by enabling management and collaboration by way of the Internet.
DM: You offer CPX as either a product a company can host onsite or as a hosted service. What is the trend in asset management these days? Are organizations favoring one way or the other?
SS:Companies large and small need to geo-locate their assets. Small- to medium-size companies are favoring a no muss/no fuss application, and software as a service (SaaS) fits the bill. We expect this trend to continue. In fact, Clear Path Labs believes that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg for location enabled IT solutions. The potential productivity gains are just too large to ignore. Our hosted solution allows both the small guys to jump right in, as well as the big guys to try us out before purchasing a license. SaaS is a good fit for those with a smaller budget and larger companies that do not want to distract their IT with a proof-of-concept. Once proven, however, they can license the application and deploy behind their own firewall.