First off a quote from the fountain of knowledge
Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet
At Response-IT we are always looking ahead for technology that will benefit existing and future customers , and help them to achieve the most out of their IT Systems. A new customer approached up with the task of creating a total scalable system with the aims of :
- Sharing large amounts of data securely between colleges over the internet without the speed limitation of ADSL upstream
- A centralised database for their contacts and sales leads
- Hosted Large Email Accounts ( 5 Gigabytes Each ) with Spam Filtering
- No Centralised Point of Failure
Due to the main concern of a Centralised Point of Failure and how dynamic the company was , we choose a fully hosted solution in the cloud
For their data storage we implemented Microsoft Office Groove workspaces for the Sales Team for Document and Calendar Storage and Collaboration with the same security model as a normal Windows Server. As the data is hosted with Microsoft across multiple servers and locations , there is no need to implement rigorous backup continuity and the speed of accessing data will only depend on your download bandwidth ( Anywhere between 2mb - 8mb) , A much faster solution for home workers!
For their Lead and Sales Contacts , we helped them implement SalesForce.com to their company , a totally hosted Customer relationship management that is fully scaleable to their needs , without the high initial start up costs. We helped with the customisation the CRM to their business needs as well as ongoing support for the creation of unique reports and batch importing of new contacts and leads.
For their email needs , we implemented Google Apps which fully intergrates into salesforce, for a totally hosted contact collaboration solution. The Spam filtering is provided by the every reliable GMAIL Spam Filter which can flag 99.8% of Spam!
The installation was a great success, the customer was delieghted with how flexible the solution was to their company and the minimal operation costs , has promoted work on rolling this solution out to their other offices within the company.
Cloud Computing looks like a solution that will help save Small Business' server mantience costs and reduce their IT spending in this troubled time.