What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a way of outsourcing all or part of your IT system to suppliers on the Internet. Cloud services are usually paid for on a monthly OPEX basis rather than large one-off CAPEX costs to implement similar in-house solutions.
For instance, Email is a classic example of a cloud service. You can, if you choose, buy an expensive server, install Microsoft Exchange and run your Email in-house. However, you could let Microsoft or Google run your Email mailboxes for you in their data centres and simply pay each month for each user that you have. You are thereby removing the capital expenditure of a new mail server but replacing it with an operational expenditure fee each month that is closely matched to what you actually use, rather like a pay-as-you-go mobile phone.
Increasingly, you can place more than just your Email services into the cloud. You can, for instance, buy cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) systems or online accounts systems or online versions of your favourite Office software. Everything is stored in the cloud so there’s no on-site hardware, software, maintenance or support.
It can be a very cost effective approach for certain organisations…
· Very Small – If there are only a few of you in your business then cloud services can work very well. It means that you don’t have to buy a server to hold all your data centrally.
· Medium-sized and larger – The costs of deploying important services such as Email, CRM, collaboration and line-of-business applications in larger organisations can be very expensive. It is seen as a better option to let a cloud services supplier deal with all the technicalities of purchasing, implementing, managing and supporting these solutions and for the company to simply purchase what it needs on a monthly basis. No big CAPEX spend, no extra in-house IT support and in-house technicians and a simple monthly fee.
· Highly Distributed/Mobile Businesses – If your staff work at different locations or travel extensively and your organisation has no major head office, cloud services work very well because they can be accessed from anywhere using the Internet.
· Start-up Businesses – Often new businesses choose not to spend their precious start-up capital on expensive in-house IT infrastructure and choose instead to buy cloud services, paying for them on a monthly basis and increasing them as their businesses grow.
Each organisation needs to look carefully at both the cloud and in-house (also called ‘on-premise’) options to understand which is best for them. Some businesses, like banks and financial organisations, are bound by regulation to keep their customers’ data in their own data centres and so will never use public cloud services. Some businesses might just prefer to spend a large amount of money initially and not have to keep paying during the life of the service. These kinds of decisions are as much down to the financial director as they are to the IT director.
What About Small Businesses?
Whether cloud services are right for small businesses is a tricky question. A traditional, single-site small business can buy a Hewlett Packard server running Microsoft Small Business
Server for relatively little money. This will give them everything they need to run their business for five years or more. However, a similar set of cloud services will cost them the same amount as the in-house server in two years. It doesn’t quite add-up. Unless you are one of the type of organisations mentioned above (very small, highly distributed or a start-up) you might as well buy a new server and look at the cloud services only when that server needs to be replaced.
Naturally, we have been providing small business servers for 20 years and are well place to help with your server requirements.
Different Types of Cloud Services
For companies looking for cloud services, here are the broad offerings that we supply…
· Public Cloud – We are a Microsoft Cloud Essentials partner and as such are certified to supply Microsoft’s wide range of cloud solutions.
· Private Cloud – We run our own cloud in our Manchester data centre so can offer highly customised Windows cloud services for those organisations who don’t want to use a public cloud.
· Software-as-a-Service – We can offer Microsoft range of SaaS packages including Office 365, Exchange Online, Dynamics CRM and Azure infrastructure services.
Why Choose MBM for your Cloud Services?
Most of our customers see the benefits of cloud services but are wary of sending their critical data to a faceless public cloud provider. They much prefer to work with people they know and trust so, more often than not, we build a small private cloud solution in our data centre and they continue to deal with us. Our prices are similar to the well-known public cloud providers and the customer receives the same friendly, knowledgeable service they are used to.
How to Sign-up?
If you like what you see and want to know more, just call us. We don’t have any sales people so you’ll speak to a technician, you can explain the problem and we’ll give you a price. Our prices are cost effective, realistic and appropriate for the task in-hand.