Tag: cloud services

Over the past few years the role of cloud companies has become extremely important. This is because dozens of companies, big and small have starting using the services of cloud companies when it comes to storing of huge amounts of data and retrieving the same as and when required.

Before getting to know more about the various high performing cloud computing companies in 2016, it would be better to have some brief idea about cloud computing from the layman’s point of view. Put in plain and simple words when we talk about cloud companies we are referring to those service providers who help customers to store data and also use software which could be residing outside their computing system.

Easy accessibility from any part of the world, at any point of time is perhaps the biggest advantage as far as cloud computing is concerned. It certainly helps lower the IT infrastructure cost apart from improving the efficiency and productivity of various organizations which avail this facility. Hence there has been a big growth in the number of new entrants into the cloud computing business while existing ones have consolidated their presence.

Here is a look at some top companies which have done well in the field of cloud computing services, cloud technologies, and everything else in between.

Amazon.com

Amazon box and a cat
photo credit: Jeffrey / Flickr

Amazon is known as being one of the biggest online retailers. However, if one looks at their growth as reported in reputed online outlets like CMC Markets it would be obvious that they are also making their presence felt strongly in the cloud computation business. They are offering their services under the nomenclature Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The revenues of AWS have grown tremendously and have touched $5 billion mark in 2015 and 2016 looks even more promising. This has resulted in smart rallying of AWS stock prices and the long term outlook is also extremely promising.

The earnings for the year 2016 should show a growth of around 35% which is far higher than the market average of 18%.

Salesforce.com Inc

Salesforce logo
photo credit: Guillaume Maichrzik Muteba / Flickr

This is a corporation which is headquartered in San Francisco and it has become a reputed player in the field of Customer Relationship Management or CRM. They play a big role when it comes to providing end to end solutions in sales for automation, managing of critical operations, customer support and service just to name a few.

The earnings have grown in 2015 by 26% and the current year estimates also look quite encouraging.

Facebook Inc.

Facebook(let)
photo credit: FACEBOOK(LET) / Flickr

Facebook started operations in July 2004 and it has been a powerful driver of growth in the field of cloud computation and storage of data and information. Whether it is fostering and developing social networks, posting of pictures, exchange of messages, listening to music, interact with likeminded people Facebook is the place to be in.

The company has been able to post quite impressive results. It has shown a revenue growth of 27% which is far ahead of the market average. It certainly is a stock worth buying.

Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft
photo credit: Mike Mozart / Flickr

Microsoft is better known as a broad spectrum technology service provider. Though software is the biggest driver of growth over the past many decades, online services and consultation, certification and training also are areas where it has growth quite satisfactorily. Its earnings are quite vibrant and the growth story continues to be robust. All this is reflected in the stock growth rate which has been quite impressive and is expected to remain so for the next few years too.

They are strengthening their online presence quite strongly and the results will be evident in the next few months.

Rackspace Hosting Inc

Rackspace:Solve
photo credit: Garrett Heath / Flickr

Rackspace is the leader in the world as far as web hosting is concerned. They have entered into agreement with AWS – Amazon Web Services which will certainly go a long way in improving their earnings in the year 2016.

The 2015 growth of around 20% is also quite impressive when compared to the market average. Hence there are reasons to believe that the share growth will also get reflected shortly and the process already has started. Hence when all the above factors are taken into account, Rackspace Hosting Inc is a name to watch out in the area of cloud computation and cloud storage.

These are just a few and there are quite a few other companies and incorporations which also will come into the limelight as far as providing of cloud based services are concerned.

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Cloud computing has ultimately become a major benefit to businesses – particularly to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Though there are plenty of reasons why, one of the most attractive things about cloud technology is that small businesses are able to reap the benefits without the high costs. Not to mention the perks of accessibility which provide room for increased productivity and seamless collaboration.

Cloud services for business

Cloud services essentially provide entrepreneurs, small business owners, and home-based businesses with access to sophisticated technology without the need to hire someone with advanced IT knowledge. With benefits such as these, there’s no wonder cloud technology has surged in popularity over the last few years. Not sure which services might benefit you the most? Here is a look at some forms of cloud technology that any small business can take advantage of:

Phone Services

Are you still utilizing a landline to make and receive business calls? Well between the monthly costs of a phone bill and the equipment needed to manage it, this could be an unnecessary costs.

Cloud phone services such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provide efficient and cost effective means for businesses to communicate. With phone calls being made and received through an online server, you can cut the costs of communications immensely. The system features allow users to make calls from virtually anywhere at a fraction of the cost. More businesses are switching to VoIP as a way to save money and increase productivity.

File Management Systems

Company data is of extreme importance. Whether its consumer information, outgoing correspondence, financial documents, or marketing materials, you need to have an efficient method for storing it. While the old file cabinet method can work, it can be costly and leaves a lot of room for error. Now, cloud technology has made managing filing a lot simpler. Cloud storage accounts are a more efficient way for managing company data.

With the ability to electronically store files in the cloud, businesses can keep track of everything and access it from anywhere. Cloud storage accounts come in varying sizes and can even be shared with other employees or consumers. Password protection and backup features ensure that your files are safe at all times. It’s also beneficial to point out that depending on your storage needs, you can find accounts that are free to use.

Invoicing Systems

As you already know cash flow is essential to the success of your business. If you’re in a business that provides services which are then billed to clients, having a cloud based invoicing system could prove beneficial. Paper invoices can easily get lost. Not to mention that providing a client with a paper invoice also means the cost of paper, envelopes, and postage.

Cloud based invoicing systems allow you to create, store, send, and manage invoices electronically. Depending on the system you invest in, there are also features that allow you to setup payroll and generate financial reports.

Project Management Systems

Depending on your business industry, project collaboration can be pretty common. To generate quality products or services, staff must be able to seamlessly work together. Cloud-based project management systems give way to real time collaboration on varying types of projects. Managers can establish the project guidelines, provide access to necessary parities, set budgets, and manage the progress.

With cloud technologies of course, team members have the ability to access pertinent project information from virtually anywhere they are. So whether they’re in the office or away on business, work can still be carried out to meet the needs of your clients.

Word Processing/Spreadsheets

Word processing and spreadsheet software can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars for businesses each year. The cost of installing it to each device along with managing the updates can weigh heavily on your budget.

There is also the inconvenience of having the software available on one platform. If you drafted a contract at the office but forgot to bring it with you to a business meeting, you’re pretty much stuck. However, with word processing and spreadsheet cloud computing services, you’re able to access the information you need from virtually anywhere. Business accounts allow access to multiple users for employees and is often a lot cheaper (if not free) than purchasing software for each device.

There are so many cloud computing services that your small business could benefit from financially. Going to the cloud allows you to save on paper, access information from anywhere with an Internet connection, improve productivity, and collaborate in real time. As you look to take advantage of some of the benefits that cloud technology has to offer your business, be sure to evaluate products to discern which will provide the best features for the overall value.

While the ultimate goal is to save money, you must also ensure that the technology you invest in will enhance business practices.

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Managing a Virtual Assistant or virtual team doesn’t require hours and hours of reading emails fielding questions and feedback requests, asking (and waiting) for revisions, dealing with lost data when they take off without notice or their computer crashes. Nor does VA management require spending time you don’t have on instant messenger programs.

Virtual assistant

Knowing what you want and how to get it from a VA does have a learning curve, but you’re in luck: The ever-present cloud technology, as well as our own experience in hiring VAs, can help you get things right.

Always Use Cloud Services

Cloud storage, paid or free, gives you the flexibility to provide quick and easy input to the projects they’re working on rather than wasting time being sent an attachment, then sending feedback to them – and the time each of you wastes waiting for the other to respond. The cloud also allows you to restrict/remove their access to important files if need.

The cloud also ensures that if they flake out on you, never to be heard from again, that they won’t take a timely project with them. Last, if their computer crashes the night before a deadline, leaving them without enough time to redo the project, the data will still be right where they left it.

Here are the things you should do with the help of the cloud services of your choice:

1. Start Small, and Use Tools to Assist you

No matter what experience they claim to have, always start with one small project. Preferably a project that takes approximately 30 minutes or fewer. Immediately check their work after the time’s up, to make sure they’re on track with the project’s goals.

This is a good way to test a potential VA before hiring them too, but even after the initial project meets your approval, you should continue slow and steady for a few days at least. Failing to do so leads to more time spent editing and revising, and financial loss if important deadlines are missed.

Using cloud-based project management tool can help you manage the small projects, allowing you to try multiple VAs’ services at once. This will speed up the whole VA “recruitment” task.

Alternatively, to cut your ‘trials-and-errors,’ you can hire VAs from a personal assistant company, like 24/7 Virtual Assistant.

2. Communicate Project Guidelines and Deadline Expectations

There are certain times when it’s prudent to allow your VA some creative freedom. Allowing a designer to work with some basic suggestions and see what they come up with can lead to a better website or logo design. Allowing an experienced writer to let their creativity flow on a given topic will lead to less-wooden and share-worthy content.

However, for most tasks you need to be as specific as possible and demand edits and redos if expectations aren’t met. Generally, if you let your VA run wild and do things their own way, the finished result won’t match the picture in your (or your client’s) head. Be as detailed as possible while keeping your instructions succinct. Deadlines must be met without exception, unless there are dire extenuating circumstances, and even then: let them know they only get one generous bye before you say “adios amigo!”

3. Be Smart With Email Practices

Over-emailing with your remote assistant can quickly get out of hand, with them sending you email messages that resemble a high-school term paper, or dozens of small little emails of which a few can easily get missed if you’re busy, or if they accidentally hit “reply” to an older message instead of adding a fresh one to your communication thread. Insist they only send one email per day and ensure they consider each communication they send carefully before hitting the “send” button.

4. Instant Messaging (and Chatting) for the Win

Set expectations with your VA as to when you might choose to IM with them. Their time is valuable too and communications will go much smoother if you don’t pop onto their desktop at random times, usually when they’re trying to get important time-consuming tasks done for you.

At the same time, they need to respect your time-constraints and you need to make it clear what times you’re available, and that it must be important if they deviate from those timelines. Use Skype or an instant messenger for communication. If they work for an agency, use the agency’s built in messenger.

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It may not show up on a standard office calendar, but February 10 is a holiday. In 2000, the Institute for Business Technology designated the second Monday in February as Clean Out Your Computer Day, giving users an excuse to remove unused files and software to improve overall efficiency. Each year since, the date has prompted experts to remind users everywhere of the benefits of doing a thorough annual review of their systems.

Spyware infected PC
photo credit: xcaballe

There have been many changes to the market since 2000, with users today possessing a variety of devices. One consumer can own a smartphone, tablet, and laptop of varying ages, with each of those devices being gradually loaded down with more items. Even if a user isn’t adding files and software intentionally, with daily use they add cookies, temporary files, and other data that, over time, begins to slow these devices down.

For this reason, early February gives users an excuse to go through each device and remove anything that hasn’t been used in a while. While there are tip sites that go through the basic process of manually cleaning a device, time-challenged consumers are often looking for an easier way. Thanks to cloud technology, users can now access services that detect and, in some cases, repair issues without having to spend hours going through each device.

PC Cleaning Services

The top concern for any user considering downloading a PC cleaner is malware. Some services claiming to clean your DC are merely covers for software that either installs spyware or viruses or adds a suite of software you never requested in the first place. PCWorld has recommended several pieces of software that do exactly what they say they do, including CCleaner, which removes temporary files, cleans up your Windows registry, erases your browser history, and distinguishes between junk cookies and cookies a user generally wants to keep.

For cleaning mobile devices, Android users can try CleanUP or SystemCleanup and iPhone and iPad users have PhoneClean. These clean-up utilities work similarly to those for PC, wiping away junk to free up space.

Speed Test Services

For those who simply want to pinpoint problems that are slowing PC performance down, there are several tools available. Ookla SpeedTest provides insight into a user’s wi-fi connection on a variety of devices, but that test doesn’t delve into issues related to the PC itself. PC Pitstop is a tool that has received positive reviews from a variety of services and SIW is a portable diagnostic service that can run from a flash drive.

For Mac Users

Mac users aren’t excluded from Clean Out Your Computer Day. Step-by-step instructions for manual cleanup are available here. According to Mac enthusiasts, Macs have the built-in ability to keep themselves junk-free, and many clean-up utilities only manage to make the device’s job harder. If only that same self-cleaning ability were built into other devices, we wouldn’t need a Clean Out Your Computer Day.

During our hectic, day-to-day activities, it’s easy to let device maintenance lag, leading to problems over time. By taking time once a year to do a thorough scan of our systems, we can improve our overall performance, speeding up our productivity the rest of the year.

About the Author: Kirill Bensonoff is a founding partner at ComputerSupport.com, helping small business executives get the most out of their technology investment.

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cloud2
The right cloud provider should be able to deliver scalable IT solutions to your business in an affordable and efficient way, resulting in lower costs and improved productivity.

Choosing the right provider can be difficult because the market is so competitive; there are certainly plenty of providers worth considering. Here are some tips to help you wade through the sea of cloud solutions.

Resilience

Although it may not seem like a priority when choosing a cloud provider, the resilience of a service will quickly become important once your business starts relying on it.

Uptime determines the consistency with which you can expect to have access to whatever cloud service you have chosen. This is important not only for companies that run apps and storage data in the cloud, but for those that use it to host services to which customers have access. Cloud outages can be costly, not only impacting on productivity but also damaging your reputation, so you need to make sure that you choose a provider that can live up to the uptime promises that it makes.

Cloud Type

Although many commentators discuss the cloud in broad, sweeping terms, it is actually a market that can be compartmentalised relatively easily. As such, you need to pick a provider based on the category of solution that it offers, whether that be IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) or any of the other variants.

There are also different standards upon which cloud platforms can be constructed, some of which are open source while others are locked down to a single provider. Knowing the difference between these can help you make the right choice.

Another variable to take into account is whether you want to adopt a private or public cloud service, with the third option being the implementation of a hybrid set-up that combines the two.

Private cloud solutions are generally harnessed by larger firms that need exclusive access to the resources of a dedicated IT set-up, while the public cloud delivers cost-effective flexibility. Taking the hybrid route is preferred by many businesses because it means they get the best of both worlds.

Cost

The true cost of the cloud is not tied up in the advertised price of a package because there are plenty of other expenses you will need to think about before you adopt, such as how migrating services to the cloud will eat away at your budget.

It is important to pick a provider that is willing to be as transparent about costs as possible, giving you a good set of expectations as to what adoption will cost and helping you to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.

Reputation

When it comes to the cloud, a great deal of the marketing hyperbole can be unhelpful in actually telling you whether or not a provider is worth using.

Instead of focusing on its sales pitch, you need to look at the provider’s track record and at the responses it has received from former clients. Testimonials, preferably sourced independently, can be valuable in giving you a fuller picture of what a provider can achieve away from the promotional jargon.

Remembering that your business needs to be in the driving seat throughout this process is also sensible. You do not want to get pushed into a package that is unsuitable or tied down to a contract that does not offer favourable terms to your company.

With all that in mind you should be better prepared to start looking for a suitable cloud service provider for your business.

About the Author: The author, Jamie Garner, works for Daisy Group – a leading provider of cloud computing services.

License: Creative Commons image source

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License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

Product or service demonstrations that require visual contact are an excellent fit for video conferencing, one of the newer features available with a Cloud-based Hosted PBX solution. A sales representative demonstrating a new smartphone to a corporate customer can now easily show him/her the benefits of the device, visually and in real time.

Another highly beneficial application of the technology is increased ease of screening prospective new employees.  Where in-person meetings are not convenient or where managers are tasked with hiring staff who will work remotely, video calls offer a superior means of gauging a prospective employee’s personality and demeanor.

Potential cost savings make the solution even more attractive.  Typical video conferencing solutions are offered on a per-minute basis, and can potentially represent monthly fees of thousands of dollars above and beyond a company’s core phone service costs.  Current users can add video capability to their Hosted PBX service for a very affordable, flat-rate monthly fee.

The video conferencing feature responds to the growing need for mobile workers to enhance their work experience with high quality business telecommunications capability.  A recent Robert Half International survey asked 1,400 CFOs which perks were most likely to strengthen employee retention and motivation. At 24 percent, the second most important consideration was flexible work hours and telecommuting.  Recent IDC research indicates the world’s mobile worker population will total more than 1.3 billion (more than 37 per cent of the total workforce) by 2015.

With a Hosted PBX service and a soft phone, mobile staff and their managers can immediately start enjoying the benefits of telecommuting and video conferencing.  Employees who travel often – particularly those who need to check in with head office regularly – will now be able to enjoy the additional benefits of face-to-face collaboration.  The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has noted that as much as 80 per cent of what humans “say” is expressed in their body language, meaning that video conferencing enables much more meaningful and impactful sessions than are possible during simple voice calls.

About the Author: Adam Simpson is Founder and CEO of Easy Office Phone

Established in 2005, Easy Office Phone provides Business VoIP and Hosted PBX service to companies and organizations of all sizes throughout North America. Easy Office Phone is now offering video conferencing. 

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callcenter

A  recent survey, AccelOps, Inc., a leader in integrated Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), performance and availability monitoring software, interviewed 176 IT security professionals and found that  responsibility for cloud security rests overwhelmingly (78%) with businesses’ internal IT staff. With Cloud security becoming a core job responsibility for a majority of North American IT professionals, many are searching for solutions that can provide the security they are seeking and do so without adding additional time-consuming duties.

Hosted PBX phone service can enhance overall cloud security while lessening the already significant load on IT personnel.  Here’s how moving your phone service to the cloud can help.

  1. Electronic invoice delivery.  Invoices are stored in an SSL-secured web portal, and you can also choose to have them delivered via e-mail.  This means no more printed bills and conspicuous envelopes left at doors or on desks.
  2. Similarly, faxes are archived via the portal, and can also be delivered to specified e-mail addresses – in contrast to printed faxes with potentially sensitive data being left on a fax machine.
  3. Administrators can set web portal access levels on a per-user basis, ensuring that only appropriate personnel can manage powerful high-level functions.
  4. International calling capabilities are highly adjustable.  Administrators can enable or disable international calls on a per-extension basis, and can also set an overall spending limit for international calling in any given month.  These safeguards can help prevent potentially costly unauthorized calls to overseas numbers.
  5. Users with administrator-level access can remotely disable a phone from using the cloud PBX service.  For example, if an employee leaves the company and doesn’t return the hardware, his or her phone can be disabled remotely to prevent unauthorized calls.
  6. Tracking phone usage is easy.  Web portals provide managers with up-to-the-minute call records with options to filter by date, staff extension numbers, and call type.  Exporting records to spreadsheet format is quick and simple.
  7. Monitoring calls for quality, compliance or training purposes (such as assisting new staff members during live calls) is a snap with the silent monitoring feature.
  8. Where greater call transparency is needed, a Hosted PBX provider can record all calls and deliver the recordings to a secure cloud-based storage service.
  9. Call centers can leverage the power of a Virtual Call Center package, which provides even more robust tracking and accountability metrics.
  10.  Premium cloud PBX providers build their service on a robust back-end network, including Tier 4 datacenters with strictly controlled access, 24/7 monitoring and onsite support staff.
  11. All individual servers are protected by industry-leading encryption to further enhance security.

About the Author: Adam Simpson is Founder and CEO of Easy Office Phone

Established in 2005, Easy Office Phone provides Business VoIP and Hosted PBX service to companies and organizations of all sizes throughout North America.

License: Creative Commons image source

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christmas cloud

The holiday season is upon us, which means all our daily activities have accelerated just a little bit more. You need to complete that work project before your client goes on vacation. You have to figure out how to attend the holiday office parties for both you and your spouse, while still attending your son’s Christmas pageant and helping your daughter make cookies for the school bake sale. And while all that takes place, you still have to get the house ready for the deluge of relatives on Christmas Eve.

But if you’re ready to grab the reins and take control of the flying sleigh that is your life in December, the added pressure of the holidays can be just the motivation you need to get organized and be even more productive than you ever were. The age of cloud computing provides tools that can help you turn the Christmas rush into what Simpson’s fanatics call Crisitunity!

Of the “50 Apps That Can Make Your More Productive,” reviewed by Jill Kelly of PC Magazine, the first four are cloud-based calendar- and document-sharing systems. So organization is immediately within reach regardless of your platform loyalties, and often at no additional cost. These tools are designed to sync up with smartphones with minimal effort on your part, even when using competing technologies (Google Drive and iPhone, for example).

The online calendar features built-in to these systems are in and of itself invaluable. You can set up different schedules for work and personal commitments, and share your calendars with everyone from your business colleagues to your 14 first cousins. I’ve seen people use the reminder function to cue them of imminent events, but I like to build a lot of extra time into mine, so every time my phone buzzes me with an upcoming appointment, I can easily reset it like the snooze button on my morning alarm clock.

For those who don’t want such a comprehensive system, there are myriad standalone apps for staying on top of daily and weekly responsibilities. I agree with Shopify.com blogger Mark Hayes’s recommendation of TeuxDeux. The ability to “Type your to-do, edit, check off, done,” as he writes, along with its clean layout make it the app for even the least technologically adept among us.

On the other hand, voice-operated virtual assistants are the latest and greatest wave for those who like to ride the cutting edge of productivity technology. Apple’s Siri may have all the A-List celebrities in their marketing campaign, but according to Kevin Smith at Business Insider, Google’s Robin for the Android phone is “the first true Siri challenger.

Of course, humans were quite capable of getting organized and being productive long before the microchip came along. The act of writing something down is often a sufficient reminder. So there’s absolutely nothing wrong with printed calendars, address books, day planners, if technology isn’t your thing. Most of these tools are equally portable as your mobile phone and won’t leave you stranded if you’ve forgotten to plug them in for a couple of days. Now that’s a crisis!

About the Author: Chris Lenois is a small business owner, professional journalist, and freelance writer for Vistaprint, offering a huge selection of personalized holiday gifts like Christmas cards, mugs, and calendars. Lenois’ work has appeared in many publications, including the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Scat Magazine, and Wired.

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the cloudsIf you’ve been looking for a way to expand your business, you may want to consider using cloud services. Cloud services really just means networking, but networking is a crucial step in growing any business. By taking advantage of today’s advanced cloud services, you can have a chance to get more done in a shorter amount of time, meaning your business can run more efficiently.

What Services Do You Need?

When looking for a cloud services provider, you first need to determine your needs of your business. Does your business need the ability to offer specific software, such as point-of-sale software, to customers through your website? Are you interested in storing data in a central location so that it will be available to employees and coworkers around the world? By deciding what services you need first, you’ll have an easier time searching for a provider.

Choosing a Cloud Services Provider

Once you know what you need, it’s time to find a provider. In the past, many cloud services providers only offered a few specific services, meaning businesses had to work with multiple companies to get the services they needed. Today, however, as cloud computing has become more popular, many cloud services providers have begun to branch out and offer a variety of different services in one place. As a result, you should look for a company that can cover all of your needs, not just a few of them.

Read Reviews

You can also spend some time seeking out and reading online reviews before choosing a company to work with. Try to find review sites that are specifically related to cloud services providers, and take into account each review you read when making your decision. Reviews can be very helpful in finding the company that’s right for your business, as reviews are generally written by real people who have had direct experiences with a company or service.

The Importance of Infrastructure

At the core of any cloud services company is its data center, so the company you choose must also have data center infrastructure in place that is second to none. Essentially, the infrastructure of the company you choose will determine the strength and integrity of your own business. If your service provider’s infrastructure goes down, so does your data. When seeking a provider, you may want to inquire as to the integrity of each company’s data center infrastructure from each representative you meet with.

Finally, keep in mind that your business may not need cloud services at all. While cloud computing is certainly helpful in a variety of business transactions, there are many ways that you can make your business more efficient without cloud services. In order to find out which route your business should take, consider meeting with a tech professional or business coach to discuss your options. In some cases, you may find that making simple changes around the workplace could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

About the Author: Chris Bennett is a network consultant and freelance writer.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/klearchos/4632744945/

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cloud businessIn a survey conducted by Invesp, more than 80 percent of internet users have gone online to buy something. They also found that more than half of online users have shopped online on more than one occasion. Research shows that people these days prefer online shopping because it’s cost-efficient, it saves time, there’s more variety, and comparing prices is easier. The trend in e-commerce gave businesses the courage to venture online, fuelling the growth of online businesses over the last decade. This shift eventually led to the development of online business solutions and one of them is cloud hosting.

The practicality of cloud for online businesses is unquestionable. For starters, it encourages collaboration. But its impact on online businesses is far from shallow. As a matter of fact it has a myriad of major impacts on online businesses such as cost reduction, flexibility, efficiency, opportunities for expansion and innovation, and a competitive edge.

Cloud hosting reduces costs

Physical storage of files required companies to hire and maintain a team of experts. These IT professionals are responsible for keeping your company data secured and accessible to the right people. Sadly, it takes money to keep them around. Cloud hosting allows businesses to outsource their data storage online, eliminating the need to hire experts as well as the cost required to maintain them. Compared to physical data storage, cloud hosting is also cheaper. This means less expenditure and more savings for any online business.

Cloud hosting promotes flexibility and efficiency

Having a team of in-house experts entails limitations in both control and execution. Your business will be limited to the capability of your group and their coverage is restricted to local areas. Cloud hosting resolves that by granting businesses greater control over data. Since everything is accessible online, operations can be executed anywhere on the globe. These, in turn, promote efficiency.

Besides flexibility in data control and execution, cloud hosting gives businesses the flexibility to establish short-term partnerships with their providers. It allows them to weigh their options until they find a suitable cloud provider. If a host falls short of what is expected, a business can easily switch to another a new service by the end of a contract.

Cloud hosting encourages innovation and business expansion

With time and money on the side of online businesses, they are given the opportunity to innovate and come up with new products or services. The money can also be used to expand existing services and create new products, allowing businesses to cater to more customers and bring in more revenue.

Cloud hosting grants leverage

Online businesses need to adapt to the modern paradigm. That is, if they want to survive and stand a chance against their competitors. Embracing cloud hosting is a sign of that.

Failing to recognize the need to adapt doesn’t lead to immediate extinction but eventually, businesses will find it harder to keep up with their competitors. Cloud hosting brings them one step closer to recent advancements and makes them highly competitive.

About the Author: This article was written by Norris Lemuel Lasay, an internet specialist who writes articles about online business solutions such as cloud computing and outsourcing. He also writes articles for his business at BroadbandExpert.com, a consultation firm that helps businesses find internet companies which suit their needs.

Image by nokhoog_buchachon

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terminated cloud servicesCloud services are becoming more popular than ever as corporations want to access their documents, presentations, photos, videos and other files from any computer or device from which they access the Internet. No longer are people limited to editing and viewing important information from the office or at home.

Tips to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Provider:

  • Select a service that meets all, not just some, of your needs. You want a service that offers the security, performance and availability that you need and expect for all of your files.
  • Is the price reasonable for the service you are receiving? Compare prices between various providers to determine if you’re getting a deal or paying significantly more for fewer options than you need to in the market.
  • Storage space. Each cloud service offers a limited amount of storage space and bandwidth. Select a provider that provides adequate space for all your files with room to spare. It’s ideal to use a cloud service that has multiple plan options so that you can upgrade to a plan with more bandwidth and space if you eventually need to without switching to an alternate provider.

Warning Signs and Solutions for Potential Cloud Service Failures:

  • Check the social networking and web presence of the company to determine how well they are doing. If their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn company profile pages appear to be empty and deserted you should be on the lookout for a possible shut down.
  • Press releases should also be available on a regular basis. If you do a quick search for press releases on the cloud provider you’re utilizing and fail to come up with any results, that is probably a sign that they are not thriving and you might be at risk of losing your data.
  • Choose an alternate cloud provider to move your data to and do it as soon as possible. According to experts at www.construxsolutions.com, there are currently no laws regarding cloud providers and what they can or have to do with data when they go bankrupt. You may be at risk of losing sensitive and important documents if additional copies are not backed up elsewhere.
  • Inquire about whether the source code and data is backed up elsewhere by the cloud computing company. A reputable company will go out of business with some dignity and not leave their customers in a tough position. You may be able to get access to the data to put it on your own machines or store it on an alternative server until you decide what the best solution for storage is.

Cloud computing services are popping up everywhere due to the on-the-go nature of our society in general, especially businessmen and women. Don’t let the possibility of a cloud service going belly up scare you away from using these incredibly convenient services. Be alert and keep an eye out for warning signs to ensure that your data remains safe no matter what.

About the Author: Chris Bennett is a network consultant and freelance writer for www.construxsolutions.com.  Informed network infrastructure decisions are key to business success.  Construx Solutions will ensure that optimal decisions are made in any given scenario for their clients.

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cloud storage servicesIf you are the owner of an online business, you will be the one to make decisions that are going to help your company move forward and grow. The services list that you are capable of using will help save money on your operating costs and will continue to increase, yet wise business owners will always ask the right kind of questions in order to find out if a service is right for their company.

The cloud storage services today are hugely popular among the various high speed internet companies and industries of all sizes. Yet before you decide on signing up for a cloud computing contract, you should first take your time to figure this out for your business and look into the service if it is really the right one for you and your organization.

One of the many reasons as to why a lot of people are already utilizing cloud storage services is because their need for data storage is increasing really fast that they are unable to keep up physically. It is going to cost companies much money if they are to buy additional hard drive storage devices. Aside from that, there are also additional costs needed to be addressed for personnel who will be managing these storage networks.

As the growth of the company continues to increase, it will tend to produce a lot of critical data on a daily basis. There are even companies that are facing difficult decisions in spending for their storage needs that they are already interfering with the growth of the business. Using cloud storage is going to let users access all of the storage space that they are going to need without having to be anxious about adding extra costs for operations in the business. In this way, companies are allowed to grow without having to bring down the finances.

One aspect that a growing business would usually experience is being on the road, going to the places where clients are and opening up new business opportunities. A standard storage system will compel users to purchase a way so that they can remotely access their data while they are traveling. This can be very troublesome for personnel who are in charge of presenting the data that they need to show their clients.

During the time when cloud computing services even became known, people used to access these data in this way but it was unreliable and expensive. Having data on the cloud however will let users access their data securely and easily wherever they are in the world. Business personnel can go on a trip to visit their clients without having to worry about access to their data at any time.

With cloud storage services, the usual obstacles that companies face when needing additional space for data are ended. This kind of service is also going to help reduce the costs of a company and ensure that their data is always accessible whenever needed.

About the Author: Norris Lemuel Lasay is a writer on technology, lifestyle and businesses at Broadband Expert. During his free time, Norris writes for relevant blogs in order to share his ideas on his favorite niches.

 

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