Are you in the Cloud!

By : Forum Member
Published 28th July 2017 |
Read latest comment - 18th August 2017

HI this is Bryan Davis of Connect-it Communications. We are a small family run business in the Medway Towns and we have been around for 9 years now, all growth by word of mouth.  Hopefully, that means we are doing something right.  This is the first time we have done any advertising at all, so be gentle with us!

We work with sole traders and small to medium businesses offering a full health check for their business.  Our aim is to make what you want and more importanly, what is best for your company, to become a reality.  

I think, we are nice people to do business with, but you will only know that if you give us a call!  

Looking forward to joining in the forum chat

Bryan

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Hi Bryan, welcome to the forum


Thanks, Rachael Kennedy
MLS Marketing Team

Byran

Why would a small business's want to risk totally working in the cloud?

Pete


Hi Pete, thanks for the question!! Just waiting for the moderators allowing my full reply.


Just read this: https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2017/01/2017-technology-trends-small-business?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Oktopost-linkedin&utm_campaign=Oktopost-2017-07+General+Campaign

 

Cloud Computing Becomes the Norm

According to IDC’s 2016 “State of the SMB Cloud” report, in the last five years SMB cloud adoption nationwide has gone from under 20 percent of firms to more than 70 percent for small companies (fewer than 100 employees) and more than 90 percent for midmarket firms (100-999 employees).

What’s driving adoption? According to IDC, some factors include a desire for cloud storage services, including cloud-based back-up and archiving; the continued presence of employee-owned mobile devices; and the adoption of mobile email and basic collaborative apps like Microsoft Office 365.

As SMBs get more comfortable with putting their data in the public cloud (or choose to adopt hybrid cloud solutions), they will likely keep adopting more cloud services. According to the online IT community Spiceworks, IT professionals expect to deploy a slightly larger number of cloud-based services in 2017, and 38 percent of IT pros consider it very or extremely important to their current business practices (compared to 29 percent last year). Email hosting, online backup and recovery, web hosting and productivity solutions are expected to be the top cloud services in 2017, according to Spiceworks.

 

I'm amazed if this is correct!


Welcome to the forum! Bumping up Pete's question, can you share some of your experience in that area?


Fixed Fee Legal Services | Bespoke Document Drafting | Document Templates
The Legal Stop | www.thelegalstop.co.uk

Happy to share thelegalstop just waiting for moderators to pass our posts!! Feel free to ask any questions and I will be happy to pass on any pearls of wisdom that might be of help to any SME.

 


Welcome to the forum! Bumping up Pete's question, can you share some of your experience in that area?”
 

Thanks for this. Our focus is on business telecoms services, so that's where most of our expertise lies. 

Numerous research papers point to the strong growth in the adoption of cloud-based services by businesses of all sizes, including the information quoted by Pete England above. Here's another source, which talks in some depth about the situation in 2016: Cloud Industry Forum 2016 report The summary on page 3 outlines some key statistics on the volume of Cloud users, their satisfaction levels and plans for further deployment.

Even if users might still be sceptical about the benefits of the Cloud, it is highly likely that they are using it anyway! For example, if you use iTunes, Google Docs or any of the dozens of other such services for storage and recall of photos, music or documents, you're using the Cloud. 

Advantages of Cloud-based data storage include ease of access from anywhere (as opposed to having to come into the office, open a PC - or filing cabinet - and retrieving the information from one location); security is usually much higher than in a traditional storage system. Depending on the programs used, collaboration between departments and teams is said to be improved.

In telephony, we know from our clients that they see similar benefits. There is no longer the need for large capital outlay on the installation of lines and on-site PBX equipment. The services run on a broadband line, and the "brains" that direct and manage call traffic are now run from secure servers. Upgrades and improvements to the system are managed by specialists and often implemented as part of the service.

Flexibility is a key factor: As you are no longer tied to the one location by a phone line, you can take your hosted phone and plug it into a broadband service almost anywhere in the world, and be in the office even when you're out and about. Online management portals make it very easy to make changes to the service, such as forwarding calls without having to ask a service provider; it's also very simple to set up a disaster recovery option, so that each user can have their calls reach them in the event of a loss of service. A traditional system would typically send all calls to one alternative destination.

In addition to the reduced initial costs, ongoing charges are often much lower in comparison with traditional line rental and call costs. Adding and removing users from your account is also straightforward, without the need to work out in advance home many lines are needed. Simply add a user licence and a handset, and it's ready to use.

Sorry for the lengthy post! If you'd like to know more, or have other questions, either post here or call us on 03456885122.


A belated welcome aboard Bryan and great intro and discussion. I'm going to move it over to the general business forum as it's pretty interesting.

I'm a bit late to the discussion, but thought I'd add my five pence worth.

Byran

Why would a small business's want to risk totally working in the cloud?

Pete”

 

I've been a long time cloud cynic after watching the awful early implementations and still have reservations about it in certain areas. But Cloud infrastructure technology is maturing, single points of failure seem to be disappearing and techies are becoming more competent in configuring and partitioning cloud storage. 

I put my our business toe in the cloud waters by moving our email services to a cloud provider a few years ago. Far cheaper and more reliable than the old mail server in the office.

But I've always resisted moving heavy database driven websites to the Cloud and a recent migration experiment failed, so we remain with dedicated servers at Rackspace. But plenty of huge websites live in the cloud, including the likes of iplayer which uses (I believe) Amazon Framework Services, although they do have a wobble from time to time. 

But phones seems a much safer bet and we have been trialling for 6 months a VOIP Cloud service from Vonage. On the back of this we have just replaced all of our office phones and are now using Vonage VOIP cloud services. The cost is a lot cheaper than our old fixed lines, plus we have a mix of high volume call packages and low volume, which work out a lot cheaper than our old landlines. Plus we get a lot more functionality (for free) such as HUNT groups, diverting to a mobile and using your mobile as your landline (ie landline number displayed).

It's still early days, but am very impressed and slowly warming more and more to this Cloud malarkey. I can see why the stats say more business owners are moving to the cloud, particularly smaller businesses. You can give  a big company smoke and mirrors perception for minimal cost with a very flexible and configurable solution.

Residential houses and businesses in the near future won't have any copper wire connected to them, but a direct fibre link, allowing this to power all comms from phones, to internet of things, ie smart devices such as TV's and Fridges! The plain old telephone system (POTS) and public switched telephone network will be consigned to history, even though arguably it's more reliable as POTS will keep going even if you have a power cut (due to the line being boosted by batteries). Something your IP phone won't do!


Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

Good points, Steve, thank you. It is now increasingly possible for even the sole trader to appear much larger through the use of hosted phone services, as well as run a more efficient operation by using apps and services that are cloud-based. From a security point of view alone, it's got to be better than relying on a single PC sitting in a home office! 

On the subject of POTS and analogue phone lines, there are some major changes ahead that will affect both residential and business customers: Openreach and Ofcom have agreed that the analogue lines that have served us for many decades are coming to an end. As of 2020, no new orders for ISDN lines will be taken. By 2025, the whole ISDN and analogue phone network is scheduled to be switched off, and all residential and business telephony services will be run on broadband lines. Although more people say they are disposing of landline connections at home, their broadband becomes even more vital, so why not use its capabilities and put a phone service on it as well? 


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