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Cloud computing for Small Businesses.... RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Guys,

    Hope you don’t mind me jumping in here and asking a question or two:

    I run a small business in the UK; we are a MS Partner and help sell 365.

    Currently we run a SBS2003 server and our mobile platform is BlackBerry BES; we know our server is getting somewhat long in the tooth and will need replacing soon.  Further, our business is changing and my colleagues and I are spending more and more time out on the road/out of the (main) office.

    So, I have a nagging thought in my mind – instead of spending thousands of pounds/dollars on buying a new serve and upgrading the MS software, why not go to cloud computing….

    Our CRM system is cloud/web based, available 24x7 wherever I am in the world.  I just need the server address, my user name and password and I can access the system in my lounge, office or on the beach in another country.

    Why not do the same with our main services.

    Outside of our CRM we use Office for almost everything else; our accounts are subcontracted to a partner – we use Outlook (enormously) Word and Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe for producing PDF’s.  And that’s it…

    I’m sitting at home writing this; if I try to VPN in to our old server its very slow, unreliable and mega-frustrating (to say the least).  I have to use webmail (which I hate!) and, obviously, we cant use signature strips as webmail wont allow them) this makes our emails/communications look pants!  So, any hosted/cloud based solution must allow us to use full Outlook capabilities as our brand is key…

    So, if you were me, how would you do it.  Would you shell out for another server, site it in our office, or would you go for a hosted/cloud based solution…

    I’d be really interested in any replies, ideas, thoughts on how to go forward.

    Thanks

    Osh

    Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:10 AM

Answers

  • I guess Office 365 is the right answer for you.

    You wont need to think again about your slow server or connectivity via VPN + you'll get it really handy while you are away from your premises.

    Since you are very much into microsoft technologies (MS Office bunch), there will be full support for unified communication.

    For more details about other benefits, and suitable options, please refer: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/all-plans.aspx 


    Vishal Soni

    Friday, July 6, 2012 9:20 AM
  • Microsoft has several options when it comes to public cloud offerings (hosted somewhere else, in a highly automated and reliable datacenter where you only pay for what you are using).

    mail, sharepoint and collaborations in general would be suitable for Office365.

    For everything else, there's Windows Azure. You can create your domain controllers, ERP/CRM systems on virtual machines and run them from Windows Azure instead of on-premise.

    My suggestion would be to contact MSFT or a local MSFT partner that could do an assessement for you, and see how you could get started with the transition to the cloud.

    -kn


    Kristian (Virtualization and some coffee: http://kristiannese.blogspot.com )

    Friday, November 9, 2012 6:21 AM

All replies

  • I guess Office 365 is the right answer for you.

    You wont need to think again about your slow server or connectivity via VPN + you'll get it really handy while you are away from your premises.

    Since you are very much into microsoft technologies (MS Office bunch), there will be full support for unified communication.

    For more details about other benefits, and suitable options, please refer: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/all-plans.aspx 


    Vishal Soni

    Friday, July 6, 2012 9:20 AM
  • Microsoft has several options when it comes to public cloud offerings (hosted somewhere else, in a highly automated and reliable datacenter where you only pay for what you are using).

    mail, sharepoint and collaborations in general would be suitable for Office365.

    For everything else, there's Windows Azure. You can create your domain controllers, ERP/CRM systems on virtual machines and run them from Windows Azure instead of on-premise.

    My suggestion would be to contact MSFT or a local MSFT partner that could do an assessement for you, and see how you could get started with the transition to the cloud.

    -kn


    Kristian (Virtualization and some coffee: http://kristiannese.blogspot.com )

    Friday, November 9, 2012 6:21 AM