The “Cloud” is an IT buzz word for a hosted service of some kind; something which is delivered to you “as a Service” (aaS), for which you only need an internet connection in order to gain access.
There’s Email as a Service, Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service and so on. Increasingly, almost all aspects of IT are available as a Service.
The advent of nearly everything being available as a cloud service is great for the end user. Rather than you buying expensive server hardware and licensing for software to run a particular business application, companies such as Microsoft build large scale implementations which are then securely split into silos or tenancies for individual companies to use. For example, with Exchange Online, you get a mailbox which is hosted on a resilient server cluster, replicated in real-time to another geographically diverse location, and backed up to a totally different continent. For this, you can pay as little as £2.50 per user, per month (or for some NFP organisations, it’s totally free!).
A solution such as this running on hardware that you owned would cost far more per user. We’ve seen organisations who have spent as much as £1000 per user (not including their computer!) for an on premise solution which will last for 3 years at best.
Cloud solutions can normally be turned on from anywhere within a few minutes to a few days, and typically require very low initial capital expenditure (Cap Ex). Instead, as you’re effectively renting the service, by using a Cloud model, you smooth the cost out over regular operational payments (Op Ex). This is great for financial planning as you can predict expenditure as you grow. It’s also great for maintenance and upgrades as with the right service, your vendor or hosting partner will look after this for you, all covered by the service usage fee.
Aquilatec work with numerous Cloud providers and are happy to manage your providers for you. The full list is extensive, but some headlines Cloud services which we can provide are:
Software as a Service
– Office 365 for email, collaboration, and desktop office applications
Infrastructure as a Service
– Microsoft Azure for hosted servers or applications
Backup as a Service
– We use a managed online backup tool to keep your data safe, and off-site
Security as a Service
– We use tools such as Symantec Endpoint Protection. This protects your servers and workstations from viruses and malware
– We use tools such as Web Protect to provide you with content filtering and web usage reporting. This enables you can track back to activity for a particular user on a particular day
Voice as a Service
– We operate a hosted telephony service which can replace or completely do away with having an on-premise phone system. It transforms a legacy service (making phone calls) into a 21st century solution. With our hosted voice solution, you keep your phone numbers. However, you are no longer tied to the physical phone line or ISDN line.
Let us help design the right cloud solution so you can be confident that you are making the right choice. Contact us now for a visit and a chat about your business’s requirements.