Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Open a Refreshing Bottle of The Cloud

Wouldn't it be great if you could just consume cloud solutions for your business as easily as opening a bottle of Coke? 
To experience the refreshing ease of having everything hosted and managed by an enterprise class data center and be free from the burden of the day to day management of IT infrastructure? 
Just say, "Aaahhhh!"

The truth is moving things like email, backup,servers and desktops to the cloud is a process that requires strategy, planning, examining processes, and taking action. Companies often do not easily address these needs and they take the approach of  "We don't have time to do all of this, so we will just stay with what we have." and  "It is more work to move things to the cloud, we can always look at that later."

Meanwhile that refreshing solution is there, just within reach!

My job as a Solutions Provider is to give each of my clients a plan and a path they can follow to reach the right solution. A client of mine had been taking home tape back ups every night and bringing them back each morning as a way of managing the business's critical data. On more than one occasion, someone would forget to take the tapes home, or not know it was their turn to be the tape back up person, and the whole process continued to burden the organization. When I proposed our Cloud based solution that managed all of their data in the cloud, it was like a cool breeze entered the room. Getting to the solution was a simple implementation plan and now they are enjoying the refreshing ease of backups in the cloud. Next on their list is their phone system. Bit by bit, they can see now how easy life can be with Cloud based solutions.

Email seems to be a hotbed of complaints and issues for companies. When I ask an IT director " What can get you fired?" they usually respond with email issues being the most complained about area for their companies.

When Microsoft  introduced their cloud based email solution to the world, this got some conversations started about moving more to the cloud more than anything had previously. A huge effort of marketing and positioning has been done by Microsoft and the message is loud and clear "Get to the Cloud". What I see as my role is to gently shepherd companies to the cloud for their email. Providing options with Hosted Exchange, Office 365™, Basic Mail, and more gives companies flexible and scalable hybrid options that they can enjoy. 

Try to insure that you fully understand your existing cost model for email delivery before making any decision to outsource. Companies sometimes find it difficult to determine how much their email infrastructure is currently costing them, so I try to help clients look at these per head costs:
  • Cost of hardware. Servers and other hardware
  • Cost of licensing. Exchange and possibly any other third-party tools along with associated maintenance costs.
  • Cost of storage per user.
  • Costs of staff time to support the mail environment.
Factoring in the cost of facilitating disaster recovery for your mail system on-premise versus having a Cloud provider take care of it for you is the last nugget that has to be looked at. Once again, that bottle of Cloud awaits, so Just say "Aaahhh!"