Monthly Archives: April 2021

Cloud for Small and Medium Businesses

Benefits of Cloud for Small and Medium Business

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) look to get more from their technology spending. The cloud, or Internet-based computing, is an effective way to allocate your technology spend, with its flexible and cost-effective self-service model. Read on to learn more about the benefits of cloud computing for SMBs.


What the Cloud Can do for Your Business


In short, cloud computing is an internet-based model for delivering computing resources. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), important aspects of cloud computing include broad network access, resource pooling, and rapid elasticity. Broad network access means that there is connectivity between servers and storage (“backend” infrastructure) and laptops or smartphones (“frontend” clients). The access can extend to a wide range of frontend devices including smart phones, lap-tops, and desktop computers. This enables workers to access applications and other office productivity tools via the internet so they can work wherever they are. 


Why the Cloud is Cost Effective

Resource pooling involves a provider serving a number of clients while the service appears infinite and immediately available. Rapid elasticity, perhaps one of the most important traits of cloud computing, allows clients to use more resources (or less) as needed–for busy times of year, or special projects, for instance. This means only pay for what’s used. What’s more, measured service facilitates SMBs tracking usage and not buying more resources than they need. Companies can have the provider maintain and operate infrastructure, transforming capital expense to operating expense.


Cloud Service Platforms and Models 


As already mentioned, rapid elasticity is a reason many companies decide to adopt the cloud. According to an article by CompTIA, 44% of firms cite rapid elasticity as a key benefit. Cloud can be more cost-effective, since companies are billed for what they actually use. Whatever a company’s reason for adoption, it will need to consider options for platforms and models. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) has access as its key feature, rather than ownership. Companies can build their own applications and use cloud resources for compute power and for data storage. Software as a Service can free a company from part or all of the infrastructure responsibility, and focus on getting the most from applications that are paid for on a subscription plan. Businesses have the option of using public cloud with its rapid elasticity, or private cloud if dealing with sensitive data and/or industry regulations. A single application can be configured across a multi cloud environment (a mixture of public and private cloud).


Cloud computing affords many benefits as well as posing questions. For guidance in considering cloud’s benefits and how they apply to you, contact us today.


Unified Communications Can Help Remote Workers Collaborate

With working from home more and more common, companies benefit from their workers collaborating and communicating easily with each other. One solution to consider is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)–an integrated, Internet-based platform that helps workers access videoconferencing, chat, file sharing and more. Remote work is potentially easier and more efficient. Read on to learn more about this cloud-based technology.


The Benefits of Unified Communications for Remote Work


The tools workers need to be efficient and productive are inherently part of this cloud-based solution. With Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), all that is needed to access the integrated system is an Internet connection. Workers can then use video conferencing tools like Teams, Webex and Zoom, can share files via email, and can even access customer information almost instantly to quickly serve clients. Voice mails are converted to emails, making it easy to access messages anywhere. The consistent reliability of UCaaS is provided by redundancy, with data in numerous data centers; if one goes offline, others can provide failover to keep communication running smoothly. 


Considerations for Unified Communications in Remote Work


When looking for a provider for this cloud platform, security protocol is one primary concern. What security features do they have to protect your critical communications and conversations? Is the data encrypted in transit and at rest? How many users can be accommodated? Another thing to ask about is whether the provider offers training in the different tools that UCaaS provides. You might also need to train your workers in collaboration skills like clear verbal and written communication; managing time, projects and deadlines; and the ability to adapt when problems occur (such as outages and login problems). Do your workers’ cyber security awareness skills need refreshing, so they know how to protect themselves and your network? 


Unified Communications as a Service can be a great offering for your remote workers, with its integrated platform and capacity for real-time response. For assistance with using this capability, contact us today.