Locus at 25 Years: Who is Locus Technologies?

On 11 April 1997, Neno Duplan and a few colleagues gathered in an attorney’s office at One Front Street downtown San Francisco to begin the Locus journey. Over the next 25 years, these founders and many who later joined them would build a company based on three breakthrough goals: in place of client-server and silo systems, offer organizations cloud-based software and applications to manage their environmental compliance; create a subscription business model, and build an integrated model for emissions and environmental information management. Through these ideas, Locus would come to revolutionize the EHS compliance and sustainability industries.

Figure 1: One Front Street, San Francisco Ca where Locus was founded in 1997

After a lunch at the California’s oldest restaurant nearby, Tadich Grill, Locus was off to the great start.

Figure 2: California’s oldest restaurant at California Street


Figure 3: Tadich Grill, California’s oldest restaurant was founded in 1849 by three Croatian immigrants.

Twenty-five years later, Locus continues that revolution, offering integrated EHS and ESG software in the cloud, mobile, IoT, and AI technologies for companies of every size and industry. Locus has changed how companies manage their environmental liability and emissions and, at the same time, improved companies’ means to manage their impacts on the climate and environment. On this 25th birthday, we want to thank our employees and customers who entrusted us with their data. We couldn’t have done any of this without you.

Figure 4: Locus’s first office in Newark, CA

Who is Locus?

We founded Locus with the vision to create a robust online environmental data management and compliance software system to handle the volume and the complexities of environmental data. The company founder and key staff came to Locus with dozens of years of consultant-based environmental data management and compliance experience and with first-hand knowledge of the difficulties and frustrations of homegrown solutions involving spreadsheets and siloed custom software.

Locus is a leading provider of EHS compliance and ESG software and technology-enabled solutions that address a broad range of risk categories across diversified end-markets.

Locus is the only provider of scale with an extensive offering unifying EHS, ESG, and Water solutions and is rapidly expanding $7bn+ addressable market opportunity with significant white space and supported by strong industry tailwinds.

Locus sits at the center of a powerful network, connecting EHS and ESG with technology needs to scale sustainable supply chains

Debuting in 1999, Locus Environmental Information Management (EIM) was the first exclusively online Software as a Service (SaaS) environmental data management system. Since then, it has been in continuous operation and has been continuously upgraded, improved, and enhanced based on technology changes and customer requests. Locus EIM was the first time a large enterprise could purchase a commercially supported system to streamline and manage the entire environmental data management process without needing to buy any hardware or install any software on-premises.

Figure 5: Locus Silicon Valley Headquarters, Mountain View, CA

Following the early success of EIM, in 2000, Locus created the first EHS compliance portal, later named Locus Platform (LP), to house different apps and less structured data such as documents, site information, and obligation and compliance information. This platform evolved over the years into a robust full-blown EHS compliance management tool with many applications. Locus completely rebuilt LP in 2013 using the latest web technologies to provide the EHS industry with the first multitenant solution for EHS compliance management. In its current form, LP offers an intuitive interface with the immense flexibility to incorporate features such as drag-and-drop forms creation, visual business-process modeling, Excel import/export integration, and rich and configurable user dashboards and reporting interface. Locus created every feature with the end-user to promote quick and easy data capture and task management.

The central focus of EIM is the environmental sample and what it tells us about environmental conditions at a site. It is a vertical application designed to store location, sampling, and analytical information. We often refer to EIM as an inch wide and a mile deep. Companies use EIM to store, evaluate, and report contaminants found in the groundwater, surface water, soil, sediments, air, and biota at a site or facility. It is typically the tool of choice for an organization monitoring emissions or study of a potentially contaminated area. In recent years, a version of it has been modified to serve the needs of water utilities for water quality management.

Most data in EIM originates from analytical laboratories, field readings, instrument readings, and consumption meters. Many such data points are transmitted to EIM via IoT technologies. EIM users generally understand sampling protocols, analytical chemistry, water quality, air emissions, sample management, geology, and other technical fields.

In contrast, LP is an expert solution that houses many compliance and task management applications. Its users generally are in oversight or supervisory positions responsible for compliance and task management. LP consumes verified data from EIM to build and report compliance apps. Its tools and flexibility support a full-featured and unified set of Environmental Health & Safety, and sustainability solutions in a single platform.

Today, Locus is an environmental software and service company with headquarters located in Silicon Valley. Our vision of a cloud-based system for accessing and managing environmental data and EHS compliance has now been widely adopted by many companies and industrial sectors and is a technology known to all as Software as a Service (SaaS).

Locus is mainly responsible for creating an emerging technology sector in its niche-storing and managing environmental and sustainability industry data using Cloud Computing. Via its SaaS, Locus is now a leading EHS and ESG SaaS provider and outpaces its competitors in environmental data tracking and compliance management applications.

Locus didn’t start in the clouds, but back in 1997, it had a pretty good view of the road it wanted to head down. Locus evolved from Neno Duplan’s work as a research associate at Carnegie Mellon in the 1980s, where he developed the prototype system for environmental information management and display using microcomputers. This early work led to the development of numerous database management systems at some of the nation’s largest environmental sites and ultimately to the formation of Locus Technologies in 1997.

In Locus’ second anniversary letter on 15 April 1999, Neno Duplan wrote:

In the short term, we will drive revenue growth through geographical expansion and by fully supporting the development of our Internet-based products and services.  We plan to use our Internet-based and information management technologies to revolutionize the industry.  These new products will keep us competitive and open a world of opportunities for Locus and our clients.

Locus’ vision of providing companies with the tools they need for better global environmental stewardship has not changed since its inception. We focus on empowering organizations to manage and mitigate the environmental impact of their activities. That vision has come to fruition as Locus’ software services are now used by some of the world’s largest companies and government organizations.

This series continues with: Locus at 25 Years with: Locus EIM and the Triumph of the SaaS Model.

The Past, Present, and Future of EHS & ESG

To celebrate a milestone 25 years of success in EHS and ESG software development, we sat down with Locus President, Wes Hawthorne for a brief discussion. In this post, we ask him a series of questions highlighting the past, present and future of EHS and ESG.

1. What are the greatest challenges that environmental professionals are facing?

One of the persistent challenges we’ve seen for the past 25 years is that the responsibilities of environmental professionals are continually expanding. Previously, almost all environmental work was localized, with facility-level permits for air, water, waste, etc. That has expanded over the years to include new regulations and reporting requirements for sustainability, social metrics, and other new compliance areas, while the old facility-level programs still continue. This has led to more pressure on environmental managers to keep up with these programs, and increased reliance on tools to manage that information. That’s where Locus has always focused our effort, to make that ever-expanding workload more manageable with modern solutions.

2. What are the most interesting trends in EHS and ESG?

The current flood of interest in ESG is certainly notable as far as bringing corporate attention to the environmental field, as well as having requirements originate from the SEC here in the US. We have become accustomed to managing oversight from multiple regulatory bodies at the local, state, and federal level, but SEC would be a newcomer in our line of work. Their involvement will be accompanied by a range of new requirements that are common for the financial world, but would be unfamiliar to environmental staff.

Across other EHS fields, we are seeing increased demand for transparency in EHS functions. Overall, this is a positive move, as it brings more attention to EHS issues and develops a better EHS culture within organizations. But this also drives the need for better tools to make EHS information readily available across all levels of the organization.

3. What are the most disruptive technologies available today?

As far as technologies, the ones most likely to have significant impact in the environmental field are ones that don’t require a significant capital investment. Although there are definitely some practical advantages to installing smart monitoring devices and other new technologies, procuring the funding for those purchases is often difficult for environmental professionals. Fortunately, there are still many technologies that have already been implemented successfully in other fields, but only need to be adapted for environmental purposes. Even simple changes like using web-based software in place of spreadsheets can have a huge impact on efficiency. And we haven’t yet seen the full impact of the proliferation of mobile devices on EHS functions. We are still working on new ways to take advantage of mobile devices for data collection, analysis, and communication purposes.

4. What do you think are the biggest innovations of the last 25 years in our field?

We’ve seen a number of innovation milestones in the past 25 years, and while we didn’t invent SaaS, we’ve been largely responsible for adapting it and perfecting it for environmental purposes. One of the major innovations we’ve integrated into our products include online GIS tools where users can easily visualize their environmental data on maps without expensive desktop software. Another one was our fully configurable software platform with built-in form, workflow, and report builders tailored for environmental purposes, which allows anyone to build and deploy environmental software applications that exactly match their needs. There have been many other innovations we’ve incorporated into our software, but these two stand out as the most impactful.

5. Where do you see Environmental and ESG reporting in the future?

More and more, we are seeing all types of reporting being converted into pure data exchanges. Reports that used to include regulatory forms and text interpretations are being replaced with text or XML file submittals. This transition is being driven largely by availability of technology for EHS professionals to generate and read these files, but it is also promoted by regulatory agencies and other stakeholders receiving these reports. Stakeholders have less time to read volumes of interpretive text, and are becoming more skeptical of potential bias in how facts are presented in text. These are driving the need for more pure data exchanges, with increasing emphasis on quantifiable metrics. These types of reports are also more readily compared against regulatory or industry standards. For reporters, lengthy corporate reports with volumes of text and graphics are becoming less common, and the success of an organization’s programs will be increasingly reliant on robust data sets, since ultimately only the data will be reported.

6. What has been the key reason for Locus’ success for the past 25 years?

There are actually a few that immediately come to mind. One reason is the nature of our continually evolving products. By providing our solutions as SaaS, our software adapts with new environmental requirements, and with new technologies. If our software was still the same as it was 25 years ago, it simply wouldn’t be sufficient for today’s requirements. Since our software is updated multiple times each year, it is difficult to notice the incremental changes, but they can be readily seen if you compare today’s software with the original in 1997. And we’re committed to continuing the development of our products as environmental needs change.

The other primary reason for our success is our excellent staff and the environmental expertise we bring to our customers. We simply could not provide the same level of support without our team of environmental engineers, scientists, geologists, chemists, and an array of others. Having that real-world understanding of environmental topics is how we’ve maintained customer relationships for multiple decades. And our software only has value because it is maintained and operated by staff who appreciate the complexity and importance of environmental work.

Locus President Wes Hawthorne meets with Locus Platform dev team 2016Mr. Hawthorne has been with Locus since 1999, working on development and implementation of services and solutions in the areas of environmental compliance, remediation, and sustainability. As President, he currently leads the overall product development and operations of the company. As a seasoned environmental and engineering executive, Hawthorne incorporates innovative analytical tools and methods to develop strategies for customers for portfolio analysis, project implementation, and management. His comprehensive knowledge of technical and environmental compliance best practices and laws enable him to create customized, cost-effective and customer-focused solutions for the specialized needs of each customer.

Mr. Hawthorne holds an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and B.S. degrees in Geology and Geological Engineering from Purdue University. He is registered both as a Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist, and is also accredited as Lead Verifier for the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Low Carbon Fuel Standard programs by the California Air Resources Board.

Want to discuss EHS and ESG solutions with our product specialists? Contact us today!


    Company Email


    Tell us about your company's needs

    Locus is committed to preserving your privacy.

    Getting Started With ESG Is Less Daunting Than You Think

    One of the most frequent questions we get asked when it comes to ESG is, “Where do I begin?”. For many companies, the process of getting started with a new ESG program is the most difficult step. With nearly 1,700 frequently evolving ESG reporting protocols available, it can be daunting just to determine where to begin. This uncertainty associated with ESG reporting can unfortunately paralyze any progress for several organizations. The good news is that ESG doesn’t have to be an ‘all or nothing’ effort. In fact, getting started is a simple and straightforward process.

    Get started with ESG

    Regardless of what ESG reporting program you choose (or eventually choose), there are many common elements that can form the basis of your organization’s ESG program. Although social and governance KPIs have been undergoing rapid evolution recently, environmental KPIs have been comparatively stable. Environmental KPIs tend to be quantitative with established calculation methodologies, whereas the definitions and determinations as to what is important regarding societal and governance factors and how to measure them are still being evaluated globally. Considering this, many companies elect to start their ESG reporting program using monitoring and collecting environmental data.

    Additionally, almost all reporting programs include the concept of a baseline, or a time period against which future ESG metrics are compared. Developing the baseline requires a good understanding of your organization’s current ESG performance, which of course requires a good set of data. Universal data that is required for any ESG reporting program includes data on greenhouse gas, water quality and consumption, waste, and energy consumption. The bedrock of an ESG program starts with the collection, management, and reporting of these data. This information can also help to inform further decisions for your ESG program, including which framework is most appropriate for your organization.

    Locus Sustainability Metrics

    As part of this effort, you should make sure you are collecting and calculating your ESG metrics with software that supports the required complexity of environmental data. Often the companies who suggest a turnkey solution to ESG reporting are not only lacking in social and governance data, but are woefully underprepared and unequipped to handle environmental data as well. With over 25 years of experience in creating software for environmental reporting, Locus Technologies is equipped to help organizations collect and report ESG data in a way that others aren’t.

    Contact Us to Get Started Today


      Company Email


      Tell us about your company's needs

      Locus is committed to preserving your privacy.

      No-Code Application Development

      Locus delivers capabilities that enterprises need to achieve true digital transformation in a unified low-code or no-code automation platform. Locus provides out-of-the-box tools and services to automate business processes, integrate with external applications, and provide a rich user experience.

      No-Code EHS Application Development

      Locus offers low-code app building, rich multi-experience capabilities, business process orchestration, automated decision making, and easy integration with other databases. Locus makes it easy to modify existing seeded apps or build entirely new apps in a few clicks and provides easy ways to write business logic to solve challenging EHS or ESG problems. We let you blend “off the shelf” apps and unique requirements with exceptional ease.

      Who is a User-Developer?

      If you know how to layout slides, if you can draw a flow chart, build a spreadsheet using formulae, sorting, with tables and charts, then you are a User Developer. We empower domain experts to build applications within the Locus Platform using the platform’s drag and drop functionality.

      What is No-Code Development Platform Software?

      No-code development platforms provide drag-and-drop tools that enable end-users with proper access privileges to develop software quickly without coding. Locus Platform provides WYSIWYG editors and drag-and-drop components to rapidly assemble and design EHS, ESG, or any other application applications. Both developers and non-developers can use these tools to practice rapid application development with customized workflows and functionality. Locus Platform provides tools for enterprise-sized businesses that need to quickly design business processes and workflow applications at a large scale, such as ESG reporting or EHS compliance management. The software tools provide templates for workflow, element libraries, and interface customization to create fully functioning applications without any coding.

      With Locus, your organization can:

      • Drag-and-drop entities to assemble applications.
      • Allow non-developers and non-technical users to build applications.
      • Build ESG, EHS, or any other apps fast using visual tools that empower IT and business lines alike.
      • Leverage no-code integration to connect and act upon data across databases, cloud services, and legacy systems without data migration or use APIs to tie in data.
      • Deliver enterprise-grade security, scalability, and reliability to support mission-critical business apps.
      • Easily build complex workflows to suit your organizations needs.

      [sc_button link=”” text=”More on Custom Apps” link_target=”_self” centered=”1″]

      Unified EHS Platform: Enter Once, Report to Many

      Is your organization still using multiple software systems for EHS&S when you can (and should) be using one robust and unified platform? Unify your compliance, sustainability, water, air, and environmental data with Locus’ cloud platform for EHS&S. It’s easier, cheaper, and more efficient.

      Unified EHS Platform - Infographic

      With Locus Platform, you can easily and securely feed all of your different EHS data sources to the cloud via a wide array of import options. You will then be able to analyze and report to virtually any regulatory agency, meeting any specific requirements they may have. We believe in making EHS compliance simpler.

      Contact us to see Locus’ Unified EHS Platform in action


        Company Email


        Tell us about your company's needs

        Locus is committed to preserving your privacy.

        Why Companies Replace Their EHS&S Software Systems

        A recent NAEM study explored the main reasons EHS&S professionals look to replace their current software configuration. Among the most reported issues were overall performance, customer support, and software customization. The following infographic highlights both why EHS&S professionals are seeking new software, and wheat criteria are most important in shopping for a new software system.


        [sc_button link=”/why-locus/” text=”See why others choose Locus” link_target=”_self” color=”#FFFFFF” background_color=”#52a6ea” centered=”1″]

        Top Enhancements to Locus EHS Compliance Software in 2019

        Let’s take a look back on the most exciting new features and changes made in Locus Platform during 2019!

        [sc_icon_with_text icon=”tasks” icon_shape=”circle” icon_color=”#ffffff” icon_background_color=”#52a6ea” icon_size=”big” level=”h3″]

        New Task Types

        Two additional types of task periodicity have been added: Triggered tasks, which allow the automatic creation of a Task based on the creation of a triggering event (e.g., a spill or storm event), and Sequenced tasks, which allow the creation of a series of tasks in a designated order. Learn more about our compliance and task management here.[/sc_icon_with_text]

        [sc_icon_with_text icon=”mobile” icon_shape=”circle” icon_color=”#ffffff” icon_background_color=”#9ac63f” icon_size=”big” level=”h3″]

        Mobile Form Builder

        Users can now create a mobile version of any data input form. Every form in the desktop platform can be mobile-enabled, so you can introduce new ways of streamlining data collection to your team.[/sc_icon_with_text]

        [sc_icon_with_text icon=”workflow” icon_shape=”circle” icon_color=”#ffffff” icon_background_color=”#3766b5″ icon_size=”big” level=”h3″]

        Process Flow

        ‘Process Flows’ have been added, which guide users in completing processes following a simple step-by-step interface.[/sc_icon_with_text]

        [sc_icon_with_text icon=”facility” icon_shape=”circle” icon_color=”#ffffff” icon_background_color=”#52a6ea” icon_size=”big” level=”h3″]

        Expanded Facilities Management App

        Our expanded Facilities Management App is designed to map at the enterprise level showing all locations, navigate your facilities hierarchy to review information and quickly take action at every level. Locus Facilities is a comprehensive facility management application that aims to increase the efficiency of customer operations and centralize important company information.[/sc_icon_with_text]

        [sc_icon_with_text icon=”settings–configuration” icon_shape=”circle” icon_color=”#ffffff” icon_background_color=”#9ac63f” icon_size=”big” level=”h3″]

        User Configurable Dashboards

        Users can choose from existing portlets (found on the dashboard pages) to customize their landing page to their unique needs. Create custom dashboards to highlight exactly the information you want in any format (charts, maps, tables, tree maps, diagrams, and more).[/sc_icon_with_text]

        [sc_icon_with_text icon=”email–contact” icon_shape=”circle” icon_color=”#ffffff” icon_background_color=”#3766b5″ icon_size=”big” level=”h3″]

        Edit via Email

        Add notes to any record by sending an email directly into the system. Allows anyone to add or append to a record in the system simply through email.[/sc_icon_with_text]


        Contact us to see a demo of Locus Platform


          Company Email


          Tell us about your company's needs

          Locus is committed to preserving your privacy.

          Locus announces EIM One — a new way to streamline environmental data management for projects of all sizes and needs

          MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., 12 March 2019 — Locus Technologies, (Locus), the industry leader in EHS, sustainability, and environmental compliance management software, is pleased to announce EIM One is available today, enabling a range of affordable solutions to automate laboratory analytical testing, analytical data workflow process, and meet environmental information management and EHS compliance needs.

          “EIM has been a market leader since its introduction in 1999, and has a long history meeting the environmental compliance needs at a wide range of complex, technically challenging sites and enterprise deployments. However, some projects need a simpler, focused solution to manage analytical data for small sites or drinking water utilities. It’s for these projects that EIM One was created. EIM One can be deployed on hours’ notice and used for routine data collection needs often handled by spreadsheets or paper forms,” said Wes Hawthorne, President of Locus.

          With today’s current push towards digital transformation, many consultants, small firms, water utilities, and others are ready to finally move away from ad hoc data management approaches and adopt a more robust and formal software solution. However, it is important that the solution be configurable, scalable and right-sized for their needs today and be able to expand as their needs and businesses change.

          EIM One takes advantage of Locus’ 20-year history of EHS software in the cloud and includes all the essentials for environmental and analytical data management in a modular and scalable package. This means customers can start with the essentials and add functionality when and if they need it. This approach allows Locus to offer a range of attractive pricing options. With the essential EIM One configuration, customers will be loading analytical laboratory data and producing reports in record time and taking advantage of market tested SaaS-based database design, configurability, security, and accessibility.

          “EIM One is a great place to start if you’re new to digital transformation. We are excited to release EIM One and finally give customers the options they have been asking for and provide just the essentials they need so they can confidently start to digitally transform their older data management approaches at very affordable pricing” said Neno Duplan, Founder and CEO at Locus. “Today’s customer wants choice above all else, and EIM One gives them the options, including mobile, in a modern configurable SaaS solution.”

          EHS software switch to multi-tenancy: Too late to switch for many vendors

          The announcements by several EHS software vendors this Fall caught my attention. After offering their software on-premisses for over a decade, suddenly many are discovering and planning to introduce multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) while promising to continue to maintain their current on-premises or single tenant offerings. In essence, they are introducing multi-tenancy as if it were a new version of their software. This plan is not going to work! Let me explain why.

          Most public announcements begin something like this: In the next several years we plan to expand our software offerings and offer our customers the option to move from their current on-premises solution to the cloud. However, is this even possible? What they consider the “cloud” may not be a true multi-tenant cloud. That train departed years ago, and most of the current EHS software vendors missed it. While multi-tenancy has been a game changer in the tech industry, many are uncertain of exactly what makes an application “multi-tenant” or why it matters.

          Locus Multi-Tenant Software

          There is a considerable degree of (intended) confusion in the EHS software space when it comes to the definition of a real cloud or better said, multi-tenancy. Companies that are considering SaaS solutions for EHS software hear all sorts of things from EHS software vendors hoping to tap into the momentum of cloud computing. Many go as far as saying “sure; we can do multi-tenant, single-tenant, whatever tenant you need!” –anything to win the job. These vendors do not understand the real cloud.

          Multi-tenancy is a significant shift in computing and requires an all-new approach to the software architecture and the delivery model from the ground up. It is transformational, and customers who intend to buy the next generation of EHS software should spend the time to understand the differences. More importantly, multi-tenancy is a principle, not a software version or an upgrade. It is not an evolutionary step; instead, it is a revolution in the software delivery model and it matters in the long run for the customer.

          Multi-tenant architecture

          Figure 1: The single-tenant model cannot easily be switched or “upgraded” to multi-tenant. The software architecture does not allow it for easy switch the same way as single family home cannot be “remodeled” to become a multi-tenant highrise. What differentiates multi-tenant application architecture is its effectiveness in achieving the same goal in a scalable and sustainable fashion.

          Can anyone imagine companies like eBay, Salesforce, Google, Workday, or Amazon offering a “single-tenant” solution side by side to their multi-tenant clouds? I argue that any EHS software vendor who offers a single-tenant solution of any type, cannot be a serious contender in multi-tenant SaaS.

          EHS software vendors with on-premise software applications or single-tenant web-enabled offerings are seduced by the seemingly low barriers to entry into the SaaS market with an architecture that leverages virtualization. This approach allows a software company to quickly offer subscription-based services of their legacy product to their initial customers. In the long run, however, this multi-instance approach just won’t scale economically. A recent wave of ownership change of EHS software companies is the best indicator that sold companies became victims of their initial success. A SaaS provider who leverages virtualization puts the long-term viability of the business at risk as more efficient SaaS competitors come to dominate the market.

          Multi-tenant architecture

          Figure 2: Single-tenant requires many more vendor resources. The resource costs are eventually passed to customers. Each upgrade of the application will require each customer to upgrade independently and the ability to implement tenant management tools and tenant-specific customizations is significantly limited. The benefit of multi-tenancy is that instead of 100 copies of the OS, 100 copies of the database, and 100 copies of apps, it has 1 OS, 1 DB and 1 app on the server with significantly less vendor resources required to manage it. And it is those savings that are on a long term passed to customers.

          Multi-tenant architecture

          Figure 3: Multi-tenant model requires less resources and easier (and rolling) upgrades (i.e. no version number necessary). Only one software instance and hardware stack for multiple tenants. All customers are always on the latest version of software. Locus Technologies figured this out in 1999. And they contribute their phenomenal success since then exactly to the multi-tenancy. They could scale up infinitely without adding proportional cost. Others cannot.

          Multi-tenant architecture

          Figure 4: “Can’t we create a separate stack for just this one customer? I promise it’s just this one…” Even a single installation for one “special” customer, breaks the multi-tenant model. Don’t do it.

          I would also add that single-tenant (hybrid) cloud applications are worse than on-premise installment. Why? Because they are fake clouds. In single tenancy, each customer has his or her independent database and instance of the software. These instances may reside on the same or different servers. In this model, a customer is, in fact, outsourcing maintenance of their application (software and hardware) to a vendor (or their consultant) that is not likely equipped to perform these tasks. No single vendor in the EHS software industry is large enough to undertake maintenance of the single-tenant infrastructure on behalf of their customers regardless of how inexpensive hardware or software virtualization may be. Even if they offer their hosting on Microsoft Azure Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS), they still cannot guarantee multi-tenancy as these solutions address only hardware challenges.

          The Economist magazine in 2004 described it: “Those forerunners also promised a software revolution by hosting the software applications of companies. But they failed because they simply recreated each client’s complex and unwieldy datacentre in their own basements, and never overcame the old problems of installation and integration with other software. With each new customer, the old ASPs had, in effect, to build another datacenter; there were few economies of scale.”

          To improve their position in a shifting marketplace, on-premises EHS vendors have found a way to market their solutions as “cloud-based” when they are not backed by the fundamental principle of what that means. Considering the large investment that is associated with the purchase or licensing of EHS software, it is critical for customers to be able to tell a true cloud product from a fake one. But how can you spot a fake?

          Just ask the EHS software vendor these four questions:

          1. Do you support both single-tenant and multi-tenant deployments of your software?
          2. Does your software have version numbers? 
          3. Do you charge for upgrades?
          4. Can we install your software on our infrastructure?

          If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the vendor is not committed to only multi-tenant architecture, and you should not move to their “cloud.”

          Multi-tenancy is the only proven SaaS delivery architecture that eliminates many of the problems created by the traditional software licensing and upgrade model where software is installed as a single-tenant application on a customer’s premises or at a customer’s or vendor’s data center. In contrast, in multi-tenancy, all customers access the same software on one or a set of linked servers.

          Multi-tenancy requires a new architectural approach. Companies have to develop applications from the ground up for multi-tenancy. Once companies commit their limited financial resources to one architecture, it becomes nearly impossible for them to switch to the multi-tenancy model, no matter how many resources they have available. Moreover, for this reason, I am skeptical that many current vendors will be able to make a switch to multi-tenancy fast enough.

          A vendor who is invested in on-premise, hosted, and hybrid models cannot commit to providing all the benefits of a true SaaS model due to conflicting revenue models. Their resources are going to be spread thin supporting multiple versions rather than driving innovation. Additionally, if the vendor makes the majority of their revenue selling on-premise software, it will be very difficult for them to fully commit to a true SaaS solution since the majority of their resources will be allocated to supporting the on-premise software.

          And if they suddenly introduce a “multi-tenant” model (after selling an on-premises version for 10+ years) who in the world would want to migrate to that experimental cloud without putting the contract out to bid to explore a switch to well established and market-tested true multi-tenant providers? Even Google and Microsoft are playing a catch-up game with Amazon’s AWS when it comes to cloud hosting business. The first mover advantage when it comes to multi-tenancy is a huge advantage for any vendor.

          In summary, an EHS software vendor can be either truly multi-tenant or not. If a vendor has installed their software on somebody’s else hardware and runs multiple instances of that software (even if the code base is the same) they are not and will never be true multi-tenant.

          Multi-tenant architecture

          Figure 5: Where do you want your software to reside? In multi-tenant or single -tenant infrastructure? If multi-tenancy is attempted on old infrastructure or legacy application upgrade watch out. After vendor built the first few floors of that skyscraper, there is no easy way to replace the foundation. You will be lucky if they end up like the tower of Pisa or Millennium tower in San Francisco. To keep the tower alive they will have to do constant underpinning of the foundation and restrict access to the structure. And you, the customer, will pay for it. That is what many customers of single-tenant EHS vendors are facing today.

          Therefore, when considering a SaaS solution, make sure that the vendor is a true SaaS vendor who is solely committed to the multi-tenant SaaS delivery model and has invested in a true multi-tenant platform. This is the only way to reap all the benefits that a SaaS model has to offer.

          Recology selects Locus Technologies EHS Compliance software

          Locus Platform will provide “out-of-the-box” configurable software to streamline Recology’s compliance tracking and reporting.

          MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., 4 December 2018 — Locus Technologies, the leader in enterprise EHS compliance and sustainability software, today announced that Recology, an integrated resource recovery company headquartered in San Francisco, California had selected Locus Platform EHS software for its system of record for EHS compliance activities. 

          “With Locus’ out-of-the-box solution, we can configure the applications to align with our current workflow and tailor the functionality to our specific needs.  The Locus Platform integration with the compliance content provider RegScan will help our Environmental Compliance team keep on top of all the regulations throughout California, Oregon, and Washington,” said Amy Dietz, Director of Environmental Compliance for Recology. 

          “By using Locus Platform Compliance application with integrated regulatory content services, Recology is combining the advantages of off-the-shelf software with Locus Platform’s powerful configuration tools. This means Recology will get exactly the software solution they need to fit their business processes in the shortest time,” said Wes Hawthorne, President of Locus.