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POC Update April 22, 2021

Program Update

On Friday, April 9, 2021, the BEST Program published a Notice of Intent to Post in compliance with the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement. This is the first critical step to posting the RFR for Business Enterprise System Transformation Software.

Thank you Operations Work Group members!!! Your active participation in the business process sessions, use case review, and feedback on the Product Demonstration videos from the RFI has been invaluable and helped the Program team to craft a comprehensive RFR which solicits the necessary information to make informed decisions and is aligned with the Commonwealth's overall technology vision.

Program Spotlight: Common Definitions

As part of our regular communications, the BEST Program is spotlighting universal benefit opprotunities and defining common terms related to the ongoing project to replace HR/CMS and MMARS.

Single-Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant

You've no doubt heard the terms single-tenant and multi-tenant as part of discussions on cloud software. If you Google "tenant" the definition is "a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord". What do software vendors mean when they refer to single-tenant and multi-tenant SaaS?

Single tenant Saas is an architecture where the SaaS client is the tenant. In the Single-Tenant SaaS environment, each team has a dedicated server and supporting infrastructure. Single-tenant products can't be shared between users and the buyer can customize the software according to their requirements.

Single-tenant benefits include dependability and customization. The environment is dedicated to one client making resources abundant and available anytime. Control over the entire environment allows for customization and added functionality.

There are also drawbacks to single-tenancy including maintenance, setup & management, and cost. Single-tenant usually requires more tasks and regular maintenance to keep things running consistently and efficiently. Setup and management of single-tenant environments require significant investment related to configuration, customization and business process review.

Multi-tenant SaaS means that a single instance of the software and its supporting infrastructure serves multiple customers. Each customer shares a single database while each tenant’s data is isolated and is invisible to other tenants.

Multi-tenant benefits include lower costs, easier integration and low effort maintenance. Multiple customers means that the cost for the environment is shared, and those savings (from the SaaS vendor) are typically transferred to the cost of the software. Cloud environments allow for easier integration with other applications through the use of APIs (Application Programming Interface). The SaaS vendor is responsible for the maintenance of the database.

Challenges of multi-tenant SaaS which all organizations have to address include limited customization and interface management issues. Customizations are not available in multi-tenant products. Requests for functional changes are submitted to the vendor and they decide if they will make it a permanent change in the product. Interface management may have issues in that the update schedule is determined and maintained by the vendor. Integrations with other SaaS products will need to be managed as any update may cause issues between connected apps.

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