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What are cloud services?

Cloud services are computer services or applications (AKA apps) that are provided via the internet and a web browser. Webmail is a good example of a cloud service app, in that you access your emails via a browser without needing an email program like Microsoft Outlook to be installed on your PC. Cloud services are generally paid for on a subscription basis, although many of them (Gmail for example) have free options available.

Another example of a cloud service is Microsoft 365 – a suite of products and services that are mostly, if not entirely cloud based. 

What are the benefits of cloud services?

The main benefit to using cloud services, is that it simplifies the management of your I.T. infrastructure and in so doing reduces cost and support overheads.  Take a hosted email service for example – firstly you do not need an email server and the hassles and costs that go along with one. Secondly you do not need (although you make chose to) have an email client on your users PC’s, thirdly, your email is accessible on any device from anywhere at any time, and thirdly your email data – often the most useful data you have – is stored offsite.

Offsite data storage is particularly important for busness, who have a legal obligation to protect and maintain access to their data.  From a security perspctive, it is often preferable to have your data in the cloud rather than on your own PC or on a local server, both of which are likely less secure than the cloud service provider is.

Cloud services also help to increase scalability and flexibility in that you can add or remove elements of the service very easily. One final benefit – cloud services allow even small businesses to access the type of technology systems that were previously only accessible to large corporates who have deep pockets and dedicated I.T. support staff in house.

What’s the down side?

There really isn’t one. It’s true that you have to pay for these services every month, but this can be a benefit too – its certainly easier on cash flow to pay a monthly bill rather than stump up thousands of dollars on a server every few years, and the monthly bill is offset against reduced support costs anyway. Furthermore, if you get your cloud services through us, we take care of all the management and support issues for you anyway.

One thing to note of course, is that cloud services are dependent on a reasonably fast internet connection, but we can help with that too – check out www.safenet.nz for an internet connection that is not only fast, but secure as well.

What cloud services do you support or provide?

We principally provide the Microsoft 365 (formally known as Microsoft Office 365) cloud products – mostly this means hosted email Exchange Services, OneDrive cloud storage & syncing and Microsoft SharePoint collaboration sites. While not a true cloud service, we also provide and support the Microsoft Office suite of products. There are lots of gotchas to be aware of when changing from locally hosted system to those in the cloud, so it’s worth discussing your requirements with someone who has done it before – and we’ve done it hundreds of times before!

Do you offer any other cloud services?

In addition to Microsoft 365, we also provide a cloud based backup solution for business and a cloud based email scanning service (anti-spam and anti-virus scanning and filtering). In these times of endless regular ransomware attacks, a cloud based backup solution is an essential part of any good security strategy and given that most malware or ransomware attacks start with an email, scanning and filtering emails before they get to you just makes good sense.

I’m interested in switching to the cloud,  what should i do next?

The easist thing to do is to give us a call to discuss your needs or fill in the contact us form.  We’re always happy to help in any way we can.