As I walked the floor of IT EXPO yesterday, it was almost overwhelming to see the number of cloud-based solutions. The applications, tools, partners and value propositions have become stronger. Alliances between competitors are forming to promote cloud-based solutions, APIs and standards. It is nearly inevitable that a company will implement a major business solution in the cloud over the next few years.
Most businesses use a cloud solution today with email as the most common. Most also use a cloud solution for social media, networking, offsite data storage, server and PC backups, or in this case, blogging. However, before more mission critical solutions move to the cloud, service providers must include protections for privacy, fraud, hacking and other significant concerns involving IP technology. Moreover, it is important to evaluate how the infrastructure supporting the service has been architected. The minimum requirement includes geographically dispersed failover servers. Mission critical applications must remain available during a server failure or natural disaster. By the way, the best way for any business to survive such an event is to incorporate the capabilities of a qualified cloud service provider into their IT strategy/implementation.
Today, I plan to spend more time investigating the offerings and looking for innovation. Tomorrow, I will join a panel to discuss the new offerings of service providers that strengthen their channel portfolios beyond selling access and wireless services. It is important for our channel partners and businesses to invest time to understand these new capabilities and how they can provide benefits to improve productivity and profits. The session, “Today's Service Provider – More Than Just SIP Trunks” is at 9:00 and will cover a range of topics, features and solutions.
Moving to the cloud reduces capital expenditures, expands the availability of business support systems, accelerates the time to deployment and improves the return on investment. Moving to the cloud also improves cash flow management with a predictable monthly cost for services, which is very important for many businesses and organizations.
The cloud is more than hosted communications. It is rapidly becoming a way of doing business. Service providers, such as ANPI, are building the infrastructure and solutions to support this next generation of IP communications and computing.