Since 2007, BLIPS has been exclusively provided as Software as a Service. SaaS is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. Many SaaS applications sit in the Internet Cloud, but in the interests of security, our BLIPS Service uses physical servers which are dedicated to BLIPS.
Originally BLIPS was a desktop product requiring installation by every user, or their IT department. Revisions, upgrades, new releases also had to be installed. Incompatibilities with other installed programs, with different Windows versions, and Office versions and various language versions made life difficult for all concerned. SaaS removes the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers or in their own data centers. This immediately eliminates the expense of hardware acquisition, provisioning and maintenance, as well as software licensing, installation and support.
Other benefits of the SaaS model include:
OwnershipRather than purchasing software to install, or additional hardware to support it, customers subscribe to a service. Transitioning costs to a recurring operating expense allows many businesses to exercise better and more predictable budgeting. From a users perspective their system is completely managed by the service provider. Gone are the local installation issues, the local support issues, the Windows upgrade issues - if there is a problem, it is the service providers duty to establish the cause and rectify any issues. The single point of ownership ensures that the system benefits from the expertise of the provider, and a single point of contact greatly reduces user frustration caused by a multi-tiered ownership environment
Scalable usageSaaS offers high scalability, which gives customers the option to access more, or fewer, resources, services or features on-demand, without hardware rebuilds and often even without outages.
Automatic updatesEvery study pushes new boundaries, and drives new developments either to feed inovative ideas, or to address lessons learned. Consequently the BLIPS Service is updated regularly allowing everyone to benefit from the latest improvements. Rather than purchasing new software, and deploying it on countless environments, customers can rely on ADS-Limathon, to automatically perform updates and server patch management. This further reduces the burden on in-house IT staff. One single deployment to your BLIPS environment is all that is needed for all the users of your service to benefit instantly.
AccessibilitySince SaaS applications are delivered over the Internet, users can access them from any Internet-enabled device and location. This is the ideal scenario for large pharma trials, where users are located around the world. BLIPS collects, scores and stores data in real time. So data collected in Australia or Japan, can be viewed by study managers in the USA. For clinicians working in multiple sites, or who want to acces data while travelling, again SaaS makes BLIPS available for everybody, everywhere 24/7/365. Customers can rely on ADS-Limathon to provide the software, keep that software up and running, maintain the hardware and facilitate a secure environment for the study data.
Change controlThe application’s source code is the same for all customers and when new features are functionalities are rolled out, they are available to all customers. However ADS-Limathon do not wish to impose unwanted changes to software and have devised the BLIPS infrastructure model accordingly. There are approximately 30 BLIPS environments currently, each running its own copy of BLIPS. This allows each customer on their own independent environment to remain on on their original BLIPS code, or elect to take new functional revisions. Similarly new scoring versions can be implemented or declined. Each environment can be individually configured for different clinical indices, user roles and permissions, and BLIPS functionality modules.
SupportSince changing from a software vendor to become a service provider, the ADS-Limathon team have effectively become a specialist team for each of their customers, both at clinician level and study level. Having over 20 years experience of BILAG and 10 years experience of Lupus Clinical Trials we can offer more than just the normal IT helpdesk. We frequently find ourselves offering advise on protocol design, software improvement, BILAG process, scoring anomalies, study adjudication, and of course, training and standardisation.
Data TransferIn all BLIPS environments there is a module called BLIPS Extract. This allows selected users, with the relevant permissions, the ability to extract data all, or selected, data from their own environment on an ad-hoc basis. We also offer scheduled extracts which can be transfered to the customers data team via SFTP, on a automated basis, as frequently as desired