Unlocking the Cloud – It’s Not Just For Big Business

My PostIf you think the cloud is an expensive tool just for big businesses, it’s time to think again. There are many ways that it can benefit small companies, even providing them with the same technologies enjoyed by their bigger competitors. And with packages starting at less than £40 a month (incl. VAT), it certainly isn’t expensive. So, here’s how the cloud can help SMBs.

Remote working

Applications that you host in the cloud can be accessed by you, or any employees you authorise, from any device connected to the internet. This can be anything from Microsoft 365 to software which has been specially created for your company. With these apps hosted in the cloud, your employees can work from home or stay connected while working in the field.

The cloud also enables you to offer more flexible working hours, helping you recruit and retain better staff; you can reduce office space, as fewer people need to be on-site; you can ensure field employees, like the sales team, always have the most up-to-date information about product availability; and you can monitor the progress of employees carrying out jobs like deliveries or home repairs, ensuring that customers are informed of pending arrivals or delays.

Better teams

Cloud-based software means your company isn’t restricted to employing team members who live within travelling distance of your premises. For many roles, cloud access means you can cast a much wider net and easily take on freelance workers to undertake short term projects.

What’s more, the teams you put together can collaborate much more effectively. You can store all your data in a centralised cloud repository, making it accessible to those who need it. Those individuals can then video conference, share synced files and work on projects using the latest team working apps.

The cheaper way to compute

Server technology is expensive and companies that need to invest in servers to run their operations are faced with capital expenditure on hardware, power costs, IT staffing costs and, for larger data centres, overheads associated with the actual premises.

By migrating computing workloads to the cloud, companies can eradicate many of those expenses. The hardware and power are provided by the hosting provider, as is much of the IT management, and there is no need for an in-house data centre. Indeed, even proprietary software licences can be less expensive when provided by your cloud host.

What’s more, the cloud also makes it far easier, quicker and much less expensive to scale up. Using in-house technology, a business would need to purchase a new server, configure it and then install the software before it could be used. This would be an expensive option that would take several days to become operational – not ideal if your company urgently needs more IT resources.

With the cloud, scaling up can be done at the press of a button. Quite simply, you can have all the additional resources you need, instantaneously, without the need for new hardware or configuration. Software installation would only be required if you wanted to use a new app. What’s more, any additional resources you needed above those included in your cloud package are only charged for on a pay as you go basis. So when you no longer need them, you stop paying for them; something you can’t do with a brand new server that you only need for occasional spikes in demand.

Advanced technology at your fingertips

It’s not just additional computing resources that you can have at the click of the button, with the cloud you can also have access to the latest technologies. The demand for cloud apps is such that there are applications of all kinds available, many of them open-source and free to use. What’s more, as they are designed especially for cloud environments, they can be installed in a single click.

This means digital transformation technologies, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, communications platforms and chatbots, once the reserve of bigger competitors, can be affordably deployed by all companies, putting smaller businesses on an equal footing. – Read more

Top Self-Storage Company Enables Thousands of Employees to Work from Home through COVID-19

My Post (17).pngReady for a positive business story in the era of COVID-19? One of the world’s top self-storage companies has found a way to maintain operations across its thousands of facilities—and keep its large staff employed—through this pandemic.

The company’s strategy: Leverage their cloud-based, work-from-anywhere communications solution to enable everyone in the organization to collaborate, communicate, and serve customers from home.

A Different Type of Disaster Leads to Cloud Communications

The organization actually switched to RingCentral’s all-in-one cloud-communications solution long before the coronavirus outbreak. Senior management decided to move off its legacy phone system, and do so as quickly as possible, when a series of rolling outages took down phone service to many of its locations over the course of a week and a half.

In researching their telephony options, several factors led the IT team to the unified communications solution from RingCentral—including the company’s reputation for platform stability, RingCentral’s ability to implement solutions rapidly for new customers, the wide range of integrated communication features available, and the solution’s future capabilities.

Of course, as it was rolling out RingCentral’s cloud-communications solution to all of its locations and employees, the company had no idea that one of those “future capabilities” would be its ability to respond to a worldwide viral pandemic by transitioning immediately to a 100% remote staff.

A Rollout So Quick and Smooth it Shocked the Company

With contracts signed, the IT team prepared itself and the rest of the organization for what it assumed would be a slow and frustrating migration to their new communications solution—but it turns out the transition period was neither slow nor frustrating. – Read more

Learn More About Ringcentral

Cloud integration is becoming a business imperative

My Post (14).pngCreating a single view of infrastructure provides the connective digital tissue businesses need to innovate and create.

Cloud integration is a critical link that will ensure the automation of digital business. Increasingly known as IPaaS (integrated platform as a service), when appropriately executed, it supports an organisation’s desire to build heterogeneous infrastructure environments and connect disparate environments for a single cohesive experience.

According to global research organisation Orbis Research, the Global Cloud Integration Software Market is expected to register a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period (2020- 2025). The researcher further highlights that successful cloud integration enables companies to avoid creating new silos of information in cloud applications and ensures that a company can attain the highest levels of security when connecting clouds.

“Cloud computing is already an integral part, or component, of just about all IT infrastructures, but the integration of cloud applications and information assets across cloud remains a stumbling block for business,” states Clinton Scott, managing director at TechSoft International. “Cloud integration, or IPaaS, has to form a part of a cloud migration strategy or organisations simply won’t get a cohesive view of all of their infrastructure assets and the information they own.”

The cornerstone of effective cloud integration is the use of APIs across platforms, to integrate applications and data. Using TIBCO Cloud Integration, Scott says TechSoft is now able to help clients connect assets no matter where they reside. Critically, the platform supports an API-led approach, which is its key differentiator as it simplifies integration and doesn’t require data or applications to be stored in a single environment.

Further, by taking an API-led approach to cloud integration, a business can connect hundreds of connectors to endpoints and applications. Now, business analysts and application owners can connect to a wide variety of SaaS applications, databases and business applications such as your ERP, automation systems and CRM solutions, to name a few. – Read more