Posts Tagged ‘google-apps’

What Kind of Cloud Does Your Business Have?

Posted on: June 28th, 2013 by jiml | No Comments

Cloud computing and its place in the business world can be a confusing topic for even the most IT-savvy business people. Should we be using the cloud?  What should we be using the cloud for? Is it cost-efficient for our business to use the cloud?  These are all legitimate questions that business decision makers face every day.  The wrong decision can turn your cloud into a thunder cloud for the business!

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Which is your cloud?

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At Colden Company Inc., we have experience helping businesses not only implement cloud solutions, but in helping businesses decide on which cloud services are a fit for their business. We can help you navigate around the clouds, to stay with the analogy. Our role as trusted advisor to our clients is one we take pride in; after all if our customers are doing well, we do well.  Our customers think of us as an extension of their business and as their “Virtual CIO,” if you will.

Our position in favor of email in the cloud has been regularly communicated in our blog postings, so it should be no surprise where we stand on that topic.  Email needs to be highly available – which the cloud provides – and it does not require the same persistent connection that many line of business (LoB) applications require, making it a great fit. There are many options for email in the cloud and we have advised our customers on a range of solutions from Google Apps to Office 365 to Hosted Exchange. Each has it benefits and Colden Company can deliver any of these solutions to your business with the skill and expertise needed to reduce downtime and maximize efficiency.

Office 365 in particular has been generating interest because of its inclusion of Microsoft Office 2013 licensing in its offerings. In fact, each license of certain versions of Office 365 allows installation of Office 2013 on up to five computers. Microsoft Office becomes a subscription-based purchase rather than an up-front out-of-pocket expense as it has been traditionally. As with any Microsoft product, there are a confusing range of options to navigate when considering Office 365.  Our experts can help.

Email and productivity applications are only scratching the surface; there is a wide range of services that can be moved to the cloud. Colden Company can help your business move, for example, your phone system, shared file storage, backups, and even comprehensive disaster recovery to the cloud. Cloud alternatives to traditional on-premises solutions are easier to manage and maintain and require significantly less up-front investment. Cloud solutions bring formerly enterprise-class IT services into the range of affordability for small and medium businesses.

If your business is not utilizing the cloud effectively and you would like assistance turning that thunder cloud into a fair weather cloud, contact us today at (888) 600-4560 or at info@coldencompany.com, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.







The Year of the Cloud

Posted on: December 30th, 2012 by jiml | No Comments

We have a saying at Colden Company Inc. which is “If you are running your business the same way you were two or three years ago, you are not staying the same – you are falling behind.”.  Your competition is not standing still, and unless your business is progressing as well, it is not keeping up.

Technology is one of the variables that can help make your business successful or cause it to fall behind. At Colden Company Inc., we specialize in bringing pertinent technology into businesses to help keep their competitive edge. It is important to realize that all the technology in the world will not make your business successful on its own.  Technology is a piece that compliments business directives.  It is important that the business directives are the drivers – not the other way around.

One of the reasons we often hear from businesses for maintaining the status quo is uncertainty. The business environment is uncertain and the rapid change in technology can also lead to uncertainty about which direction to take.  We have seen many businesses hold off on upgrades because of financial uncertainty and the byproduct of that is risk to the business because of older or more frequently unstable technology.  This increases short term maintenance costs but saves the larger investment dollars.

Businesses are longing for certainty. Cloud technology can help bring more certainty to monthly costs and also reduce the large upfront costs that accompany traditional on-premise upgrades.  According to research at Gartner, 80% of businesses are already using some type of cloud-based service.  If you are a regular reader of our blog postings, you already know that we feel email is a great application to migrate to the cloud. In today’s world of mobile devices, there are many ways to send and receive email, leaving your business not dependent on the office Internet connection for availability. From a technical perspective, email does not require as much of a persistent connection as line of business (LOB) applications, making it a natural fit for the cloud.  In addition, the consistent monthly recurring cost (MRC) brings that certainty that businesses need. Many cloud services include license upgrades as newer products are released, further reducing the periodic large expenditures that on-premise solutions are prone to.

If your business is looking for certainty and you have found yourself standing still over the last couple years, then 2013 is the Year of the Cloud! Colden Company has successfully assisted customer in this type of migration and we would be happy to provide our expertise to your business.  Call us at (888) 600-4560, or via email at info@coldencompany.com.  Find us on Facebook and Twitter (@coldenco) as well.







Email: Into the Cloud!

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by jiml | No Comments

There has been a lot of discussion about cloud computing in recent years and major companies like Google and Microsoft are investing millions of dollars into competing for that space. At Colden Company Inc., we are often asked about the cloud and whether or not our clients should consider the move into a cloud environment. The answer to the question “is the cloud good for my business?” is, of course, “it depends”. It is important to review what line-of-business (LOB) applications that your business relies on and whether or not cloud options are available and an improvement over traditional on-premise applications. Obvious benefits to cloud solutions include improved business continuity, less upfront hardware expense, and fewer ongoing maintenance expenses, while downsides include reliance on a stable Internet connection for access to data and perhaps decreased performance of certain applications.

In general terms, we prefer our data files stored locally, but backed up to the cloud. This insures fastest access and the safety of having a backup in the cloud, protecting against a site-level disaster. We prefer our email in the cloud for reasons will we discuss shortly and we prefer to examine our LOB applications on a case-by-case basis. Let’s focus on email since we feel it is a great cloud application.

Cloud applications rely on Internet connectivity so having a solid connection is vital. In today’s mobile computing world, email comes not only to PCs and laptops but also to smart phones and tablets. These devices often use 3G or 4G connections which are really separate Internet connections than the office network, providing a layer of redundancy in case the office Internet goes down. Secondly, email is not an application that requires a 100% persistent connection and is not as large a bandwidth user as many LOB applications. These two points make email a natural fit for the cloud.

Many people think that cloud email will only offer a reduced feature set as was evidenced by Microsoft’s Outlook Web Access for many years. This is no longer the case. Microsoft Hosted Exchange, Office365, and Google Apps for Business offer fully functional and web-based feature sets compared to on-premise solutions. With both the Microsoft and Google offerings, you can even continue to seamlessly use your local Outlook client while realizing the benefits of the cloud. Reduced functionality is no longer a reason to stay out of the cloud.

Email is just so critical to business today that having the guaranteed up-time that many cloud services provide is a great way to ensure the reliability of this critical business tool. Google and Microsoft both commit to a Service Level Agreement (SLA) of greater than 99.9% for their business cloud offerings. Cloud email is secure and reliable, making it a great fit for such an important business tool.

Finally, no evaluation would be complete without considering costs. Studies have shown that cloud email has less up front cost and in many cases, lower long term costs for the business as a result of less maintenance and fewer lost hours in productivity. With a cloud-based solution for your email, expenses are stable and predictable – both very attractive traits to business owners.

Are you interested in hearing more about how your business can migrate its email to the cloud? Contact Colden Company Inc. at (888) 600-4560, info@coldencompany.com, see us on Facebook or Twitter @coldenco.