HOME BUILDERS WANT THE BENEFITS OF BACK-office accounting software and sales and warranty management applications, but they can't always afford to spend thousands on servers and technology workers.

Now, LoadSpring, an outsourcer based in Lawrence, Mass., offers a service in which it manages important business functions, such as back-office accounting and sales applications, for $70 to $100 a month per user. While this may sound expensive, it's cost effective when you consider maintenance and support and the cost of new gear.

At press time, Eric Leighton, LoadSpring's president and CEO, said the company was in discussions with numerous home builders who use applications such as Oracle and Pivotal.

USE OR LOSE: LoadSpring's software lets builders run real-time reports of application usage so that they can keep better tabs on software licensing costs.
USE OR LOSE: LoadSpring's software lets builders run real-time reports of application usage so that they can keep better tabs on software licensing costs.

LoadSpring's basic product is the Collaborative Application Management (CAM) Console. The CAM Console is a software platform in which a company's strategic business applications are stored and managed on LoadSpring's server. The company also handles all the software maintenance and reporting.

Most Web-based systems can track a company's orders and shipments. What's different about the CAM Console is its ability to track real-time usage of Web applications.

“We have a system that monitors who has launched the applications,” says Leighton, adding that by actually seeing which employees are logging on to the application, home builders can adjust their software licenses based on actual usage.

Another feature of the CAM Console, System Manager, lets project supers in the field add, delete, or modify a user. In the past, information technology managers would have to fill out forms and follow a multiple-step process to set up a user.