The e-HUB evolution: From a Custom Software Architecture to a Software-as-a-Service implementation
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New technological advances have enabled the creation of distributed collaborative industrial networks giving origin to new collaborative e-business models such as the Virtual Organisation (VO). These industrial networks require new Information and Communication Technologies Infrastructures (ICT-I) playing the intermediary role as the enablers of interoperation among their participant organisations. Furthermore, these networks require coordination and cooperation mechanism among its members which in turn can be supported through specific vertical applications deployed over a common platform. PyME CREATIVA was a project defined with the aim of playing the role of a service provider of an open technological platform named the e-HUB, providing a set of collaborative electronic solutions named the e-services, to support collaborative business processes among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Till today, the e-HUB platform has proved to be a complete IT architecture able to satisfy SMEs technological requirements to get involved in collaborative business opportunities, nevertheless with the technology progress new opportunities appear to improve the way these e-services are delivered to the SMEs. This paper provides an insight into the benefits and implications of evolving the e-HUB architecture into new one based-on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) premises. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.