Putting the Cloud to work for Your Business.
Cloud computing allows you and your business to take advantage of the best technologies available today—without breaking the bank, adding IT staff, or purchasing servers that are not used to their fullest capacity, or that run out of capacity too soon. It also brings a variety of other benefits including increased data security, increased productivity and workforce mobility—just to name a few.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Cloud the right solution for my business?
While there is certainly no “one-size-fits-all” solution, the reality is: EVERY BUSINESS is going to be using Cloud Computing sooner or later. It’s NOT a trend. It’s the next step—the next level of computing power, data security, workforce mobility and productivity— and of course: IT cost control.
Choosing the right Cloud solutions (not to mention: IT support, devices, software, hardware) for your business comes down to determining what you need today and what you will need tomorrow. Our team of technology experts will sit down with you, answer your questions, provide insight on new technologies, and help you to determine what makes sense for your business.
What is Cloud Computing?
“Cloud computing” refers to the use of computing resources (e.g. files, apps, software) that are available to you on an on-demand basis via the Internet. This is in contrast to conventional on-premise IT, where your company runs its applications exclusively on its own internal infrastructure—including servers, storage, networks, firewalls, load balancers and other hardware. Have you watched our short video explaining Cloud Computing yet? If not, click here to learn more.
What is a Cloud Platform?
Depending upon your needs, a “Cloud platform” might be a component of your overall Cloud Computing solution. Cloud platforms provide access to a variety of fabulous “on demand” services that can be used immediately to address specific business needs—or configured to create content applications just for you— all within a browser. Cloud platforms offer numerous time- and cost-saving advantages over on-premises software systems while providing much greater adaptability, allowing the user to evolve and refine the system as needs change or expand.
Why is Cloud a better model than installing and maintaining an on-premise servers and software systems?
It's simple. No hardware to buy. No software to install. No huge upfront fees. No need to retain a large IT staff. No worries about downtime, backups, or recovery. Just log into your browser and you're there.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud Storage is today’s new and (vastly) improved storage method for your data. From music files to pictures to sensitive documents, the Cloud invisibly backs up your files and folders and alleviates the potentially endless and costly search for extra storage space as you grow. An alternative to buying an external hard drive or deleting old files to make room for new ones, Cloud storage is convenient and cost-effective.
Of course not all Cloud storage/backup solutions are created equal. With us, however, you can rest assured that your files are safe on a highly secure server at our Tier III Data Center. There they wait—password protected—and always accessible to you via the Internet—rather than sitting isolated on your local hard drive (which is vulnerable to all sorts of issues including theft, damage, and corruption.)
What are these new fancy technology acronyms: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS?
You might have heard of the 3 fundamental layers or service models that the industry uses, each one supports the individual user and their particular needs: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Here are more details:
1. Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service or SaaS is one you’ve probably come across the most, even though you might not know it. In this model, the programs are already built and the vendor would simply grant access to you. This eliminates the need to install and run the application on your own computers, which simplifies maintenance and support.
A prime example of this service would be Gmail. You would not install or maintain Gmail. Rather, the provider gives you access to this application and all you have to do is sign up with a username and password. In a SaaS model, almost everything is managed by the vendor.
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service or PaaS is a variation of SaaS. Vendors provide prebuilt program libraries that you can use to tweak and build an application, giving you a little more control of the application. Let’s use Lego® as a metaphor.
Lego provides the building blocks or the prebuilt programs supplied by the vendor. Everyone’s blocks look the same; however what you end up with could be different from another user. You have the ability to build something slightly more customized to address your needs, within the constraint of the Lego blocks or the program you subscribe to.
3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
If the Lego structure was the PaaS, then the shelf that displays the Lego structure is the Infrastructure as a Service or the IaaS model. With this Cloud model, the vendor provides you the shelf, or rather the environment to host or build your applications. As well, you are in full control of what you want to build on the shelf to make it totally unique. You can also enjoy the economies of scale with IaaS, choosing to scale up or down based on how much capacity you require. This is a good fit for businesses that are seasonal or perhaps have fluctuations in the number of projects they work on throughout the year.
Where do we host data? (About our Data Center)
Our data hosting facility was designed and built to International Tier III standards—that’s like military grade protection. With us your data is protected in a State-of-art Fortress.
- Isolated and highly secure power supplies with backup generators, which are located away from main building
- Multi-path high bandwidth data communications providing redundancy via multiple service providers
- N+1 Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) system– monitored for temperature and humidity at our NOC
- Dispersion System
- Fire suppression system using FM200 Inert Gas
- Hurricane-proof to withstand Category 5
- Earthquake-resistant –classified as a Category 4 structure
- Hot – Cold aisle containment to maximize cooling efficiency
- Diverse PDUs backed by high capacity UPS
What are your fees?
We don’t have a “fees sheet” to hand to you. We don’t work that way because it wouldn’t make sense because we’re not bringing you something that’s off-the-shelf or currently sitting in the lot. It’s simply not a commodity.
Our approach is consultative, which means that we get to know you so that we can deliver to you a fully custom IT solution built with today’s best technology to suit your specific needs. The goal? To take your business to the next level of productivity and profitability.
But that’s not all. Here’s something else to consider. Our Managed IT Services provides you with a unique way to pay for your use of technology as a service instead of as a capital expense. It also includes the ongoing service and support your business needs to keep working effectively.
Working capital has never been more critical than it is today, given the state of our economy—nor is that fact likely to change in the near future, particularly for small businesses. We’d be happy to explain how you can now pay for your technology as a service instead of as a Capital Expense.
Yes, we can give you a complete end-to-end IT solution—all in one manageable monthly payment. No large up-front costs. And that means you enjoy another annual tax write off because your technology is now considered an Operating Expense rather than a Capital Cost.
Do you resell someone else?
There are outfits out there reselling the Cloud solutions of other vendors or providers. NOT us. We own our hardware and data center. We provide and manage the services we offer you. It’s as simple and straightforward as that.
What are our qualifications?
Why are we so special? Well, we hold the following certifications: ISO27001 and ISO9001. And did we mention that we’re also compliant with HIPAA and CIPA guidelines?
How about CIPA & HIPAA?
Are you with a school, library, or healthcare provider? If so, you are in good, safe hands with us. We meet CIPA technology requirements and HIPAA standards for IT.
CIPA - For more details we encourage you to review this primer prepared by E-Rate Central: http://e-ratecentral.com/CIPA/cipa_policy_primer.pdf
HIPA - For more details we encourage you to review this overview of these guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/special/healthit/introduction.pdf
How is my data backed up?
The simple answer is: your data is backed up automatically via an encrypted connection to your place in the Cloud. No more sticky notes reminding you to put your data on an external hard-drive or thumb drive every night! (Sorry, POST-IT.)
The reality: There are, however, many options on how your back up is scheduled and what’s included. Once we determine the needs of your organization we can give you a detailed answer to this question. For instance, we will need to understand the amount of data you need to back up—and how often. All of this is certainly different for a bank than it is for a bike shop—but regardless, it’s an important process to put in place, and it’s critical to protecting your business for today and tomorrow.
How do Cloud-based solutions secure my data?
Forgive us for bragging a bit here, but we do own our own data center—which means that and all of our clients’ files, data, and Cloud applications are hosted in a Tier III secured environment. Why is this significant? Well, there are only a handful of data centers nationwide that qualify as Tier III. It means that our level of “up time” is 99.99% and our security is military grade and government grade. It’s TIGHT. Click this link to learn more about Data Centers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_center
Also, it’s important to understand that we not only transport your data encrypted, it’s also stored encrypted— it’s ALWAYS encrypted—even to us. The technical term is: 256-bit-encrypted. That’s what gives our clients military/government-grade security for their data files. Better not forget your password!
What if I don’t have an internet connection?
Well, then you’re kinda out of luck, aren’t you? We’d like to say we’re kidding, but maybe the question should be…
What if I don’t have a quality internet connection?
If this is a weakness for you we are certainly here to help! We know how frustrating it can be to have an unreliable or slow connection and we have a variety of internet solutions for business. So let’s talk about what you need and get you up to speed.
Can I use mobile technology with cloud-based applications?
Absolutely. Our C1 drive allows you to back up your files/data via the Cloud—on any device from wherever you are … and it makes no difference if your tablet or smartphone is AOS or iOS.
What if I lose my device?
Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the answer. If you (or an employee) lose a device you can simply do a remote wipe of the device (i.e. make it “dumb”)—thereby protecting your data!
MDM is an empowering, easy-to-use interface that gives you an eagle eye view of each mobile device that’s at work for your company. In fact, we can show you how to utilize MDM to improve productivity by giving you the ability to determine which applications will function on smartphones and tablets during business hours—or anytime.
With MDM it is also possible to set up a device, change settings, and track data usage on any company device — remotely. And you can BYOD—bring your own device(s)! We offer a variety of smartphones and tablets if you need them, but it’s not at all a requirement that you purchase them from us.
How often are updates performed? Who is responsible for doing that?
Again, this is completely tailored to suit YOUR needs. Need updates weekly? Daily? Real time? You got it. And as your managed services provider we keep all of your software updated. Think about it. No more manual Windows updates or annual licensing hoops to jump through. We handle it for you. Easy as pie.
But that’s not all. It’s our responsibility to ensure that any hardware we provide to you is not obsolete or too old (and therefore vulnerable).
We keep your IT ecosystem in good shape.
What about data center down time?
That’s the beauty of Tier III— it’s all about redundancy (i.e. redundant hardware and redundant sources of power and internet). Essentially this means no down time! In fact, if we don’t meet 99.99% reliability (“up” time) then we can lose our Tier III status so … we’re not kidding.
What support do we offer—local and remote?
The bottom line? We’re with you! Remotely we’re available to you 24/7. And, since we’re local we can have techs or engineers at your site within 1 to 2 hours when needed. Now doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?
- 24x7x365 Network Monitoring
- 24x7x365 Server Management
- Unlimited Help Desk Services for Cloud Environment
- Unlimited After-Hours Support for: server down, application unavailability, or outages