Locus Platform is the most modern multi-tenant cloud application development platform for EHS applications on the market today. Both government and commercial enterprises trust this platform to deliver robust, reliable, and highly scalable applications for managing EHS compliance and tracking environmental emissions.

To meet the demanding requirements of its customer base, Locus Platform is a metadata-driven software architecture that enables multi-tenant applications. This paper explains the technology that makes the Platform fast, scalable, easy to configure and maintain, low-cost, and secure for any application.

Locus Platform

Locus Platform is the preeminent on-demand application development platform for EHS, ESG, and beyond, supporting many organizations and government institutions. Individual enterprises and governmental organizations trust Locus’s SaaS Platform to deliver robust, reliable, Internet-scale applications. The foundation of Locus Platform (LP) is a metadata-driven software architecture that enables multitenant applications. This unique technology, a significant differentiator between Locus and its competitors, makes the Locus Platform fast, scalable, and secure for any application. What do we mean by metadata-driven? If you look up metadata-driven development on the web, you find the following:  

“The metadata-driven model for building applications allows an Enterprise to deploy multiple applications on the same hosting infrastructure easily. Since multiple applications share the same Designer and Rendering Engine, the only difference is the metadata created uniquely for each application.” 

Why Multitenancy is Better than Single

The Triumph of the Multitenant SaaS model, which Locus brings to the EHS/ESG industry.

In the case of LP, it is the Designer and Rendering Engine cited in this definition. All LP customers share this engine and use it to create their custom applications. These applications may consist of dashboards, forms to enter data, plots, reports, and so forth, all designed to meet a set of requirements. Instructions (metadata) stored in a database tell the engine how to build these entities, the total of which form a client-designed application.  

Locus Platform Evolution

Locus Platform’s evolution to the leading EHS and ESG Platform.

History has shown that every so often, incremental advances in technology and changes in business models create significant paradigm shifts in the way software applications are designed, built, and delivered to end-users. The invention of personal computers (PCs), computer networking, and graphical user interfaces (UIs) gave rise to the adoption of client/server applications over expensive, inflexible, character-mode mainframe applications. And today, reliable broadband Internet access, service-oriented architectures (SOAs), and the cost inefficiencies of managing dedicated on-premises applications are driving a transition toward the delivery of decomposable, collected, shared, Web-based services called software as a service (SaaS). 

With every paradigm shift comes a new set of technical challenges, and SaaS is no different. Existing application frameworks are not designed to address the unique needs of SaaS. This void has given rise to another new paradigm shift, namely platform as a service (PaaS). Hosted application platforms are managed environments specifically designed to meet the unique challenges of building SaaS applications and deliver them more cost-efficiently. 

The focus of Locus Platform is multitenancy, a fundamental design approach that dramatically improves the manageability of EHS and ESG SaaS applications.  Locus Platform is the world’s first PaaS built from scratch to take advantage of the latest software developments for building EHS, ESG, sustainability, and other applications. Locus Platform delivers turnkey multitenancy for Internet-scale applications.  

Locus Multitenancy

The Benefits of Multitenancy

A single shared software and hardware stack across all customers.

The same applies to many different sets of users; all Locus’ LP applications are multitenant rather than single-tenant. Whereas a traditional single-tenant application requires a dedicated group of resources to fulfill the needs of just one organization, a multitenant application can satisfy the needs of multiple tenants (companies or departments within a company, etc.) using the hardware resources and staff needed to manage just a single software instance. A multitenant application cost-efficiently shares a single stack of resources to satisfy the needs of multiple organizations. 

Single Tenancy

Single-tenant apps are expensive for the vendor and the customer.

Tenants using a multitenant service operate in virtual isolation: Organizations can use and customize an application as though they each have a separate instance. Yet, their data and customizations remain secure and insulated from the activity of all other tenants. The single application instance effectively morphs at runtime for any particular tenant at any given time. 

The Waste of Single Tenancy

Single-tenant apps create waste

Multitenancy is an architectural approach that pays dividends to application providers (Locus) and users (Locus customers). Operating just one application instance for multiple organizations yields tremendous economy of scale for the provider. Only one set of hardware resources is necessary to meet the needs of all users, a relatively small, experienced administrative staff can efficiently manage only one stack of software and hardware, and developers can build and support a single code base on just one platform (operating system, database, etc.) rather than many. The economics afforded by multitenancy allows the application provider to, in turn, offer the service at a lower cost to customers—everyone involved wins. 

Some attractive side benefits of multitenancy are improved quality, user satisfaction, and customer retention. Unlike single-tenant applications, which are isolated silos deployed outside the reach of the application provider, a multitenant application is one large community that the provider itself hosts. This design shift lets the provider gather operational information from the collective user population (which queries respond slowly, what errors happen, etc.) and make frequent, incremental improvements to the service that benefits the entire user community at once. 

Two additional benefits of a multitenant platform-based approach are collaboration and integration. Because all users run all applications in one space, it is easy to allow any user of any application varied access to specific data sets. This capability simplifies the effort necessary to integrate related applications and the data they manage.  

Gartner Chart Showing Locus Technologies

Gartner recognized the power of the Locus Platform in their early research.

 


This is the third post highlighting the evolution of Locus Technologies over the past 25 years. The first two can be found here and here. This series continues with Locus at 25 Years: How did we fund Locus?

Locus EIM

How did Locus succeed in deploying Internet-based products and services in the environmental data sector? After several years of building and testing its first web-based systems (EIM) in the late 1990s, Locus began to market its product to organizations seeking to replace their home-grown and silo systems with a more centralized, user-friendly approach. Such companies were typically looking for strategies that eliminated their need to deploy hated and costly version updates while at the same time improving data access and delivering significant savings.

Several companies immediately saw the benefit of EIM and became early adopters of Locus’s innovative technology. Most of these companies still use EIM and are close to their 20th anniversary as a Locus client. For many years after these early adoptions, Locus enjoyed steady but not explosive growth in EIM usage.

Triumph of the SaaS Model

E. M. Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) Theory has much to offer in explaining the pattern of growth in EIM’s adoption. In the early years of innovative and disruptive technology, a few companies are what he labels innovators and early adopters. These are ones, small in number, that are willing to take a risk, that is aware of the need to make a change, and that are comfortable in adopting innovative ideas. The vast majority, according to Rogers, do not fall into one of these categories. Instead, they fall into one of the following groups: early majority, late majority, and laggards. As the adoption rate grows, there is a point at which innovation reaches critical mass. In his 1991 book “Crossing the Chasm,” Geoffrey Moore theorizes that this point lies at the boundary between the early adopters and the early majority. This tipping point between niche appeal and mass (self-sustained) adoption is simply known as “the chasm.”

Rogers identifies the following factors that influence the adoption of an innovation:

  1. Relative Advantage – The degree to which an innovation is seen as better than the idea, program, or product it replaces.
  2. Compatibility – How consistent the innovation is with the potential adopters’ values, experiences, and needs.
  3. Complexity – How difficult innovation is to understand and use.
  4. Trialability –  The extent to which the innovation can be tested or experimented with before a commitment to adoption.
  5. Observability – The extent to which the innovation provides tangible results.

In its early years of marketing EIM, some of these factors probably considered whether EIM was accepted or not by potential clients. Our early adopters were fed up with their data stored in various incompatible silo systems to which only a few had access. They appreciated EIM’s organization, the lack of need to manage updates, and the ability to test the design on the web using a demonstration database that Locus had set up. When no sale could be made, other factors not listed by Rogers or Moore were often involved. In several cases, organizations looking to replace their environmental software had budgets for the initial purchase or licensing of a system but had insufficient monies allocated for recurring costs, as with Locus’s subscription model. One such client was so enamored with EIM that it asked if it could have the system for free after the first year. Another hurdle that Locus came up against was the unwillingness of clients at the user level to adopt an approach that could eliminate their co-workers’ jobs in their IT departments. But the most significant barriers that Locus came up against revolved around organizations’ security concerns regarding the placement of their data in the cloud.

LocusFocus

One of the earliest versions of EIM

Oh, how so much has changed in the intervening years! The RFPs that Locus receives these days explicitly call out for a web-based system or, much less often, express no preference for a web-based or client-server system. We believe this change in attitudes toward SaaS applications has many root causes. Individuals now routinely do their banking over the web. They store their files in Dropbox and their photos on sites like Google Photos or Apple and Amazon Clouds. They freely allow vendors to store their credit card information in the cloud to avoid entering this information anew every time they visit a site. No one who keeps track of developments in the IT world can be oblivious to the explosive growth of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Salesforce, and Microsoft’s Azure. We believe most people now have more faith in the storage and backup of their files on the web than if they were to assume these tasks independently.

Locus EIM

An early update to EIM software

Changes have also occurred in the attitudes of IT departments. The adoption of SaaS applications removes the need to perform system updates or the installation of new versions on local computers. Instead, for systems like EIM, updates only need to be completed by the vendor, and these take place at off-hours or at announced times. This saves money and eliminates headaches. A particularly nasty aspect of local, client-server systems is the often experienced nightmare when installing an updated version of one application causes failures in others that are called by this application. None of these problems typically occur with SaaS applications. In the case of EIM, all third-party applications used by it run in the cloud and are well tested by Locus before these updates go live.

Locus EIM

Locus EIM continues to become more streamlined and user friendly over the years.

Yet another factor has driven potential clients in the direction of SaaS applications, namely, search. Initially, Locus was primarily focused on developing software tools for environmental cleanups, monitoring, and mitigation efforts. Such efforts typically involved (1) tracking vast amounts of data to demonstrate progress in the cleanup of dangerous substances at a site and (2) the increased automation of data checking and reporting to regulatory agencies.

Locus EIM

Locus EIM handles all types of environmental data.

Before systems like EIM were introduced, most data tracking relied on inefficient spreadsheets and other manual processes. Once a mitigation project was completed, the data collected by the investigative and remediation firms remained scattered and stored in their files, spreadsheets, or local databases. In essence, the data was buried away and was not used or available to assess the impacts of future mitigation efforts and activities or to reduce ongoing operational costs. Potential opportunities to avoid additional sampling and collection of similar data were likely hidden amongst these early data “storehouses,” yet few were aware of this. The result was that no data mining was taking place or possible.

Locus EIM in 2022

Locus EIM in 2022

The early development of EIM took place while searches on Google were relatively infrequent (see years 1999-2003 below). Currently, Google processes 3.5 billion searches a day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. Before web-based searches became possible, companies that hired consulting firms to manage their environmental data had to submit a request such as “Tell me the historical concentrations of Benzene from 1990 to the most recent sampling date in Wells MW-1 through MW-10.” An employee at the firm would then have to locate and review a report or spreadsheet or perform a search for the requested data if the firm had its database. The results would then be transmitted to the company in some manner. Such a request need not necessarily come from the company but perhaps from another consulting firm with unique expertise. These search and retrieval activities translated into prohibitive costs and delays for the company that owned the site.

Google Search Growth

Google Searches by Year

Over the last few decades, everyone has become dependent on and addicted to web searching. Site managers expect to be able to perform their searches, but honestly, these are less frequent than we would have expected. What has changed are managers’ expectations. They hope to get responses to requests like those we have imagined above in a matter of minutes or hours, not days. They may not even expect a bill for such work. The bottom line is that the power of search on the web predisposes many companies to prefer to store their data in the cloud rather than on a spreadsheet or in their consultant’s local, inaccessible system.

The world has changed since EIM was first deployed, and as such, many more applications are now on the path, that Locus embarked on some 20 years ago. Today, Locus is the world leader in managing on-demand environmental information. Few potential customers question the merits of Locus’s approach and its built systems. In short, the software world has caught up with Locus. EIM and LP have revolutionized how environmental data is stored, accessed, managed, and reported. Locus’ SaaS applications have long been ahead of the curve in helping private, and public organizations manage their environmental data and turn their environmental data management into a competitive advantage in their operating models.

We refer to the competitive advantages of improved data quality and flow and lower operating costs. EIM’s Electronic Data Deliverable (EDD) module allows for the upload of thousands of laboratory results in a few minutes. Over 60 automated checks are performed on each reported result. Comprehensive studies conducted by two of our larger clients show savings in the millions gained from the adoption of EIM’s electronic data verification and validation modules and the ability of labs to load their EDDs directly into a staging area in the system. The use of such tools reduces much of the tedium of manual data checking and, at the same time, results both in the elimination of manually introduced errors and the reduction of throughput times (from sampling to data reporting and analysis). In short, the adoption of our systems has become a win-win for companies and their data managers alike.


This is the second post highlighting the evolution of Locus Technologies over the past 25 years. The first can be found here. This series continues with Locus at 25 Years: Locus Platform, Multitenant Architecture, the Secret of our Success.

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.

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.

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    Locus looks back on the last 25 years of pioneering EHS, ESG, and water quality software.

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., 11 April 2022Locus Technologies, the leading EHS Compliance and ESG software provider, today celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding, and with it, a quarter-century of customer success. Locus looks back on its founding as a Silicon Valley leader in EHS & ESG software with pride in its leadership through expertise, stability, and innovation. 

    Locus was founded in 1997 with a revolutionary vision that set the framework for what is now widely known as environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and environmental, health, and safety (EHS). Locus envisioned a simplified and data-driven approach, offering software in the cloud, on mobile devices, and as a service. The company pioneered SaaS (Software as a Service) model in EHS, ESG, and water quality management spaces in 1999 and never installed its software on customers’ premises. 

    Over 25 years, Locus has pioneered cloud environmental solutions, online and mobile GIS (Geographic Information System) services, has revolutionized environmental information management, and AI and IoT technologies for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to forward-facing municipalities and the US Government. 

    Locus recently broke new ground by releasing the first Visual Calculation Engine for ESG Reporting. Locus’s visual calculation engine helps companies quickly set up and view their entire ESG data collection and reporting program, enabling full transparency and financial-grade auditability throughout the entire process. 

    As the industry continues to evolve, competitors merge and disappear. New markets emerge and grow. Locus remains a constant in the environmental space, an innovative and independent pioneer. 

    “For 25 years now, Locus has brought together industry-leading experts in EHS, sustainability, and technology. Although regulations and requirements have changed over the years, that combination remains at the core of what Locus does, as demonstrated by our stability and long-term customer partners. We look forward to continuing our path of growth using those same values for the next 25 years.” said Wes Hawthorne, Locus President.  

    Locus Founder and CEO, Neno Duplan is proud to look back on the growth of Locus over the last 25 years. He said, “Locus did not start in the clouds, but back in 1997, we had a rather good view. Locus’s vision for better global environmental stewardship has not changed since its inception. We focus on empowering organizations to track better and mitigate the environmental impact of their activities. That vision has come to fruition through the Locus software services used by some of the world’s largest companies and government organizations. Locus’ SaaS has been ahead of the curve in helping private and public organizations in not only managing their water quality, EHS compliance or ESG reporting but also turning their environmental information into a competitive advantage in their operating models.” 

    Locus Founder and CEO, Neno Duplan recently sat down with Grant Ferrier of Environmental Business International to discuss a myriad of topics relating to technology in the environmental industry such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Multi-tenancy, IoT, and much more.

    [icoLocus name=”list”]  Use the video chapters to navigate to areas of interest.

    Neno Duplan is founder and CEO of Locus Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based environmental software company founded in 1997. Locus evolved from his work as a research associate at Carnegie Mellon in the 1980s, where he developed the first prototype system for environmental information management. This early work led to the development of numerous databases at some of the nation’s largest environmental sites, and ultimately, to the formation of Locus in 1997.

    Click here to learn more and purchase the full EBJ Vol XXXIII No 5&6: Environmental Industry Outlook 2020-2021

    [sc_button link=”https://www.locustec.com/why-locus/” text=”What makes Locus different?” link_target=”_self” centered=”1″]

    Neno Duplan is founder and CEO of Locus Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based environmental software company founded in 1997. Locus evolved from his work as a research associate at Carnegie Mellon in the 1980s, where he developed the first prototype system for environmental information management. This early work led to the development of numerous databases at some of the nation’s largest environmental sites, and ultimately, to the formation of Locus in 1997.

    Mr. Duplan recently sat down with Environmental Business Journal to discuss a myriad of topics relating to technology in the environmental industry such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Multi-tenancy, IoT, and much more.

    [sc_button link=”https://www.locustec.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/LOCUS-EBJ-2020.pdf” text=”Download a preview” link_target=”_blank”]

     

    Click here to learn more and purchase the full EBJ Vol XXXIII No 5&6: Environmental Industry Outlook 2020-2021

    AI and Big Data to Drive EHS Decisions via Multi-tenant SaaS

    With data and information streaming from devices like fire hydrants, there is little benefit from raw data, unless a company owning the data has a way to integrate the data into its record system and pair it with regulatory databases and GIS. That is where the advancement in SaaS tools and data sources mashups has helped set the stage for AI as a growing need.

    Humans are not very good at analyzing large datasets. This is particularly true with data at the planetary level that are now growing exponentially to understand causes and fight climate change. Faced with a proliferation of new regulations and pressure to make their companies “sustainable” EHS departments keep adding more and more compliance officers, managers, and outside consultants, instead of investing in technology that can help them. Soon, they will be turning to AI technology to stay on top of the ever-changing regulatory landscape. 

    Locus - Big Data - IoT - AI

    AI, in addition to being faster and more accurate, should make compliance easier. Companies spend too much time and effort on the comprehensive quarterly or annual reporting—only to have to duplicate the work for the next reporting period. The integrated approach, aided by AI, will automate these repetitive tasks and make it easier than just having separate analyses performed on every silo of information before having a conversation with regulators.

    In summary, whether it is being used to help with GHG emissions monitoring and reporting, water quality management, waste management, incident management, or other general compliance functions, AI can improve efficiency, weed out false-positive results, cut costs and make better use of managers’ time and company resources.

    Complex data - Data redundancy

    Another advantage of AI, assuming it is deployed properly, concerns its inherent neutrality on data evaluation and decision making. Time and time again we read in the papers about psychological studies and surveys that show people on opposite sides of a question or topic cannot even agree on the “facts.” It should not be surprising then to find that EHS managers and engineers are often limited by their biases. As noted in the recent best-seller book by Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics laureate Daniel Kahneman, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” when making decisions, they frequently see what they want, ignore probabilities, and minimize risks that uproot their hopes. Even worse, they are often confident even when they are wrong. Algorithms with AI built-in are more likely to detect our errors than we are. AI-driven intelligent databases are now becoming powerful enough to help us reduce human biases from our decision-making. For that reason, large datasets, applied analytics, and advanced charting and data visualization tools, will soon be driving daily EHS decisions.

    In the past, companies almost exclusively relied upon on-premise software (or single-tenant cloud software, which is not much different from on-premise). Barriers were strewn everywhere. Legacy systems did not talk to one another, as few of the systems interfaced with one another. Getting data into third-party apps usually required the information to be first exported in a prescribed format, then imported to a third-party app for further processing and analysis. Sometimes data was duplicated across multiple systems and apps to avoid the headache of moving data from one to another.  As the world moves to the multi-tenant SaaS cloud, all this is now changing. Customers are now being given the opportunity to analyze not just their company’s data, but data from other companies and different but potentially related and coupled categories via mashups. As customers are doing so, interesting patterns are beginning to emerge.

    The explosion of content—especially unstructured content—is an opportunity and an obstacle for every business today.

    The emergence of artificial intelligence is a game-changer for enterprise EHS and content management because it can deliver business insights at scale and make EHS compliance more productive. There are numerous advantages when you combine the leading multi-tenant EHS software with AI:

    • Ability to handle the explosion of unstructured content where legacy on-premise EHS solutions can’t.
    • AI can organize, illuminate, and extract valuable business insights if all your content is managed in one secure location in the cloud.
    • Locus helps you take advantage of best-of-breed AI technologies from industry leaders and apply them to all your content.

    We are seeing in the most recent NAEM white paper, Why Companies Replace Their EHS&S Software Systems, that people want the ability to integrate with other systems as a top priority.  Once the ability to share/consolidate data is available, AI is not far behind in the next generation of EHS/Water Quality software.

    This concludes the four-part blog series on Big Data, IoT, AI, and multi-tenancy. We look forward to feedback on our ideas and are interested in hearing where others see the future of AI in EHS software – contact us for more discussion or ideas! Read the full Series: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

    Contact us to learn more about Locus uses IoT and AI

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      SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., 23 July 2019 — Locus Technologies (Locus), the market leader in multi-tenant SaaS water quality, environmental compliance, and sustainability management, today announced that it is going all-in on Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), moving its entire infrastructure to the world’s leading cloud. By moving its flagship product EIM (Environmental Information Management) to AWS this month, Locus will complete its transition to AWS. Locus previously moved its Locus Platform (LP) to AWS in 2018.

      EIM is the world’s leading water quality management software used by many Fortune 500 companies, water utilities, and the US Government since 1999. Among its many features, EIM delivers real-time tools to ensure that water utilities deliver clean water to consumers’ taps and don’t discharge contaminated wastewater above allowable limits to groundwater or surface water bodies like streams, lakes, or oceans.

      EIM generates big data, and with over 500 million analytical records at over 1.3 million locations worldwide, it is one of the largest centralized, multi-tenant water quality management SaaS systems in the world. With anticipated growth in double digits stemming from the addition of streaming data from sensors and many IoT monitoring devices, Locus needed to have a highly scalable architecture for its software hosting. The unmatched performance and scalability of AWS’s offerings are just the right match for powering Locus’ SaaS.

      Because of the scope of its applications, Locus is expecting to leverage the breadth and depth of AWS’s services (including its database systems, serverless architecture, IoT streaming, blockchain, machine learning, and analytics) to automate and enhance the on-demand EHS compliance, sustainability, facility, water, energy, and GHG management tools that Locus’ software provides to its customers.

      Running on AWS’s fault-tolerant and highly performant infrastructure will help support Locus’s everyday business, and will scale easily for peak periods, where reporting demand such as GHG calculation engine or significant emissions incidents like spills can skyrocket scalability demand.

      By leveraging Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) and AWS Lambda, Locus is migrating to a microservices architecture to create more than 150 microservices that independently scale workloads while reducing complexity in the cloud, thereby enhancing every element of the customer cloud experience. Locus built a data lake on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and will leverage Amazon Redshift to analyze the vast amount of data it is storing in the cloud, delivering insights and predictive analytics that uncover chemicals trending patterns and predict future emissions releases at various locations.

      Locus intends to leverage AWS IoT services and Amazon Managed Blockchain by building a new native integration to help businesses generate value from the millions of events generated by connected devices such as real-time environmental monitoring sensors and environmental treatment systems controls. AWS IoT is a set of cloud services that let connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications like EIM and Locus Platform and other devices. Locus IoT Cloud on AWS allows customers to experience real-time emissions monitoring and management across all their connected sensors and devices. And for customers who want to allow multiple parties to transact (e.g. GHG trading) without a trusted central authority, AWS provides a fully managed, scalable blockchain service. Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed service makes it easy to setup, deploy, and manage scalable blockchain networks that Locus intends to use for emissions management and trading.

      For example, a water utility company that maintains thousands of IoT-enabled sensors for water flow, pressure, pH, or other water quality measuring devices across their dispersed facilities and pipeline networks will be able to use Locus IoT on AWS to ingest and manage the data generated by those sensors and devices, and interpret it in real time. By combining water sensor data with regulatory databases, water utility companies will be able to automatically create an emergency shutdown if chemical or other exceedances or device faults are detected and as such, will be better prepared to serve their customers and environment.

      By combining the powerful, actionable intelligence in EIM and rapid responsiveness through Locus Platform with the scalability and fast-query performance of AWS, customers will be able to analyze large datasets seamlessly on arrival in real time. This will allow Locus’ customers to explore information quickly, find insights, and take actions from a greater variety and volume of data—all without investing the significant time and resources required to administer a self-managed on-premises data warehouse.

      “After 22 years in business, and after evaluating AWS for a year with our Locus Platform, we decided to switch and continue all our business on AWS. We are taking advantage of their extensive computing power, depth and breadth of services and expertise to develop an effective cloud infrastructure to support our growing business and goal of saving the planet Earth by providing and managing factual information on emissions management, all the while reducing operational costs of Locus’ customers,” said Neno Duplan CEO of Locus. “By operating on AWS, we can scale and innovate quickly to provide new features and improvements to our services – such as blockchain-based emissions management – and deliver exceptional scalability for our enterprise customers. With AWS, we don’t have to focus on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing our infrastructure, and can concentrate instead on developing and improving apps and services.”

      “By organizing and analyzing environmental, sustainability, and water quality information in the cloud, Locus is helping organizations to understand the impact of climate change on drinking water,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “AWS’s unmatched portfolio of cloud services, proven operational expertise, and unmatched reliability will help Locus to further automate environmental compliance for companies ranging from local water utilities to multinational manufacturing corporations, to federal government research agencies. ”By choosing to go all-in on AWS, Locus is able to innovate and expand globally, developing new solutions that will leverage comprehensive analytics and machine learning services to gain deeper insights and forecast sustainability metrics that will help deliver clean drinking water to consumers around the world.”

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