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What is The Cloud and how can it help me?

Published by sambage on 05/21/2013

The future of Computing and Telecommunications

We hear the term “The Cloud” a lot these days but what does it actually mean?
In its basic and earliest form, the term “Cloud” refers to the Internet or a network (The name comes from the use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it represents) but it has evolved into a far larger term to mean a myriad of things.

In relation to Telecommunications, the term “Cloud” is for services or programs which are normally installed in a user’s computer or on that user’s local site but “hosted” in a different location, but in a way so that the user can still access them and use the services. For instance, office programs, network administration, onsite hardware such as VoIP or servers. Businesses that offer Cloud services usually mean that these programs/software/hardware aren’t at the users site but are hosted at a different location but that you can use them via a secured connection on the internet.

Why do this?

There are many reasons to shift to Cloud solutions. Firstly the cost is far reduced for the standard office setup used in recent years. Everyone had to have a computer with all of their programs installed on them and these where connected to an internal network which is administered to by an IT admin or team. That’s a lot of money however you view it. With a Cloud solution, the only thing you need is an internet connection and something to access your account on the Cloud (and this doesn’t have to be a normal PC. It can be a mobile phone, tablet or any other device that connects online). All of the above software and hardware are hosted on the Cloud ready for you to use.

Secondly, everything you use that is on the Cloud is looked after 24/7/365 by professional teams of administrators. There is no painful backing up or upgrading of programs or software as this is done automatically for you.

Thirdly is security. Cloud services are hosted in massive bomb-proof and disaster-proof data centres all around the world which have numerous fall overs and redundancies should one go down. Your data is your data, and is secured for you and available to you whenever you want it (and with the benefit of the Cloud, not stuck on one computer which you can’t get too!). Ever have vital data you needed and your computer break or need to be sent away for repair? This is a thing of the past when your data is part of a Cloud service. Simply access the data from another computer. You won’t be a slave to a temperamental machine ever again.

So all I need is an internet connection? But what if that goes offline, I won’t be able to work at all!?

Once upon a time, this may have been an issue but with improving broadband speeds and connectivity, a lot of Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) have a guarantee of “up-time”. Most businesses have more than one connection to the internet as a fall over line if the first does not work. Some even have routers with mobile internet enabled; the same that you find on mobile phones and tablets or you can use your mobile phone and tablet to access your work until your main broadband connection works again. And because the Cloud is always on, you can connect it from anywhere.

I’m not technically minded and I have a problem, and because I am on the Cloud I have no need for a dedicated IT team. What if I have a problem with the service, who do I turn to?

Most companies still employ at least one person to administer to the internet connection. This person plays a dual role as a help desk for your cloud services. If you have a small business and looking after your computers/internet is part of everyone’s job they can find helpful guides on the internet or contact their Cloud supplier. The Cloud supplier should have everything you need to know and a help desk to raise issues with. On-Site Connect performs this service for you so put your troubles in our hands.

So what services can I have in the Cloud?

Virtually all of them! We operate alongside Microsoft to offer Office 365, which contains their entire office suite of programs as well as a lot of telecoms based systems. With Office 365 we can offer not only the widely used Microsoft Office package, but a software phone system as well. This is run in the Cloud and interacts with your computer and desk phone attached to your computer to enable VoIP like capabilities for your business for a fraction of the price of a traditional phone system.

In this diagram, the phone is connected to the computer itself and then to the Cloud based software on your computer. Dialling numbers, hold, transferring, dialling a second line is all done with the “Softphone” application on the cloud and allows normal phone functions as well as advanced functions only offered by this system.

I want to get a Cloud solution for my business, how do I go about getting it?

Firstly we will send around a representative to assess your current network infrastructure. If any changes need to be made to it we will advise and present you a summary. From there we will set up you cloud account and advise you how to use it. As long as you have an internet connection you will be able to get a Cloud service for your business (and if you don’t have one, we can get you a broadband connection as well!).

If you want the Cloud based phone system along with it, we can assess your current phone system setup. If you don’t have one, we will recommend one for you and show you how to use it. It is very simple and used the world over by millions of people to connect with the world.

Conclusion and Contact Us

On-Site Connect are experts in Cloud services and have been installing and maintaining systems for over 5 years in a variety of businesses across the UK. If you have any more questions or would like to speak to us about your business and Cloud Solutions, Call us on 08450 777071.

Andy Arnell
Group Operations & SHEQ Director
Mobile: 07900 260048
Direct Dial: 02392 893154

Jade Sedgwick
Operations Manager
Mobile: 07584 102648

Kerry Proctor
Business Development Manager
Direct Dial: 02392 893175
Mobile: 07826 866066

Part of the
On-Site Group

On-Site Connect

On-Site Connect are a converged VoIP, Mobile and broadband provider in the South of England partnered with several nationwide corporate customers.

We offer a free analysis of your current communication usage and, because we are an independent company, can give you a completely unbiased recommendation on the best package for you. We are partnered with all major communication providers, including Vodafone, Orange, TalkTalk and O2.