Business Cloud

The ‘cloud’ has become a buzzword around the IT and telephony industry of late but businesses of all sizes are still unsure quite what it means.

Simply put, cloud storage, cloud computing and cloud telephony shifts all (or most) of your hardware and software off your desktop (or out of the office environment) and into fully secure and geographically disparate datacentres where it becomes instantly available to you through any internet connection or mobile device whenever you need access to it and from wherever you are in the world.

Cloud Telephony

Cloud telephony (often known as VoIP) will significantly reduce your business telephony costs (both line rentals and call charges). Your voice is converted into ‘data packets’ and they are sent over your existing broadband connection, then ‘reassembled’ at the intended destination in exactly the same way email works. Do you use Instant Messenger clients such as Yahoo, MSN and Google Talk? If you do, you are already using cloud telephony and the benefits to businesses of all sizes and complexities are instantly measurable –

timeline_pre_loader

  • Your capital outlay is minimal and maintenance costs are slashed since you can consolidate your voice and data suppliers
  • Data and voice integration (both hardware and protocols) can be driven from your existing internet services
  • Cloud telephony is 100% scalable

  • Remote employees can use the company telephony network through a broadband connection
  • Business-grade Skype offers you huge cost reductions on mobile and landline calls, exceptional features such as voicemail, dedicated wi-fi hotspots and call forwarding as well as collaboration tools like instant messaging, file sharing and group video

The Cloud Explained

Think of Facebook. Your 600 ‘friends’ are all uploading photos, videos, web links and assorted data but  it’s not stored on your hard-drive. Facebook have vast armies of servers where all this information is stored but the minute you want to access something, it’s there. Free web-based email such as Gmail or Hotmail works in exactly the same way.

It’s also worth noting that your data sits on ‘shared’ servers alongside the data of other businesses but your part of the server is completely demarcated from their part of the server. Again as a practical example, consider booking into a hotel. You don’t get the entire hotel, you get your room, space by the pool and a table in the restaurant and while other people are using the same hotel and facilities, none of them can use the parts that have been allocated to you.

Cloud Storage

In the past, companies have been responsible for the storage and security of business-critical data on their own in-house servers. For most, it works just fine, but imagine what would happen if your servers were stolen or damaged beyond repair and years of information disappeared overnight. How long would it take for your business to recover? Could your business recover at all?

In addition, storing high volumes of data is expensive. Servers are costly to purchase, they have a limited life expectancy, they require backup and recovery systems to be in place, they take up valuable office space in specific environmental conditions and they need dedicated staff to manage them. Lastly, they consume huge amounts of energy for cooling and power.

  • The storage capacity is virtually unlimited and daily backups are automated
  • Your data is replicated across at least two datacentres around the UK
  • Capital costs become operational expenditure by requiring less hardware and physical space
  • Your enterprise applications perform at optimum capability
  • Far lower energy consumption and power savings enhance your green credentials
  • Our datacentres benefit from AES 256-bit encryption, the same level of security used by NASA and the CIA. As a practical example, it is estimated by cyber-security experts that it would take five trillion of today’s computers 197 years to break through
  • Online storage allows for vastly more efficient collaboration on documents or projects

For more information about any of our cloud services