Your Business is Now Magically Cloud Friendly
You’ve moved your business communications to VoIP, either through implementation of a Virtual PBX or SIP Trunking, saving money and providing your users with improved communications regardless of their location.
You had a solid hit here in getting rid of your old analog lines and PRI circuit, as well as your legacy data circuits. You now have an all-IP converged voice & data network. No more data and voice islands. Congratulations!
You wisely created a robust and redundant data network to guard against Internet failures. You’ve even established a business continuity plan. You are one smart business person.
The Home Run
By implementing the three base hits of technology, you’ve lowered or maintained your monthly costs, improved communications and designed a resilient network. The home run is that this same shiny new network that will be used to support the Cloud services that you will be implementing in the future.
The Evolving Business Network
Your First Local Area Network
If your business was in existence in the nineties, you built a local area network with Ethernet switches and data cable. You did this so all of your computers could be connected to a server and printers. It was a big deal as employees could access data from a central location and share files. Productivity shot up.
Your First Wide Area Network
As the Internet became useful to businesses, organizations had to connect their local area network to the Internet and branch locations. This connection is known as the wide area network. Businesses spent outlandish sums on Cisco routers and $250 per hour gurus to configure the hardware, and spent lots of money on low bandwidth data circuits.
Your Converged and Cloud Ready Network Is Delivered
That is what you’ve built if you have implemented the new technologies recommended in our three previous blogs. What started out as a project to replace your aging business telephone system, blossomed into a wholesale upgrade of a modern Cloud-friendly network.
Network readiness is the very first step in moving your business applications to the Cloud. Businesses have historically had their equipment and services on premise, and those network needs were modest. But, every time you move an application or business solution to the cloud, it uses more bandwidth. Bjarne Munch, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner, Inc.
states, “Through 2013, at least 60% of enterprises will experience slow or inconsistent application performance issues from externally hosted applications, due to improper network design.”
And every application that you move to the Cloud increases your company’s dependence on a reliable Internet connection. So, isn’t it nice to know you’ve laid the foundation for a successful transition to the next wave of business technology?
Expert Cloud Network Design Required
The elements of a Cloud-friendly network that supports a VoIP business phone system, IP-fax, and new circuit types are not expensive, certainly much less costly than your first LAN or WAN.
However, don’t let the relatively low cost obscure the necessity for proper network design. Virtual PBXes and SIP Trunks require real-time communications that demand a very high-quality network be in place. In fact, voice is the “canary in the coalmine”, as poor voice quality is the first telltale sign of a network problem. If an email or internet search takes half a second to complete due to a poor network design, nobody notices. But a telephone call with a half second delay is complete garbage, and everybody’s unhappy. So however you approach your move into the cloud, get a top notch consultant and implement quality products and services.
We hope you’ve learned more about the elements that make up a modern cloud-ready network. Just a warning though – if you are looking to replace your business phone system, just know that it will set you on a path of cloud readiness. We’re here to help.
TeleDynamic’s Trip to the Cloud
In June 2014, we had to replace a file server as it was reaching the end of its useful life. I questioned the need to buy another server and was introduced to Cloud-based solutions. The more I explored, the more I became fascinated by the power, simplicity and lowered costs of cloud applications. Instead of moving the software packages from our old server to the Cloud, we dumped them all and replaced them with Cloud applications.
As we started down that path, it wasn’t long before the question arose: “Well, since all of our data and applications are in the Cloud, why are we all driving to an office every day, and spending 90 minutes or more in commute traffic? Do we really have to go to a remote location to connect to the Cloud?” The answer was obviously no.
I took a crash course in Cloud applications, read several books on how to virtualize an office, hired a consultant to help, and created a master plan. It took six months and hundreds of man hours, but we have improved our communications, slashed our costs and increased employee satisfaction immensely. 90% of our employees now work remotely. We’ve cut our office lease costs by 70%.
Was it easy? Considering the massive amount of data migration, learning all of the new apps, and the cultural change, one would think it nearly impossible. However, with a carefully crafted plan and working with subject matter experts it wasn’t that bad. I now boast that we are a 25-year-old start-up, as everything is new, and we are learning every day. We’re not done, and it isn’t perfect. But the benefits have substantially outweighed the costs and risks.
It has been transformative to our company, and the Cloud promises to deliver the same fundamental value to your organization. I look out my window in San Francisco at 5:30 PM as I write this, looking over The Mission and see the traffic on 101 crawling. All of my employees are home cooking dinner and enjoying their families (and checking business email!).
I’m sure happy that old server finally needed to be replaced. I would be happy to share my experiences and assist your organization on this better way of running a business. Let’s talk.
This blog is the last in a series of posts called Bases Loaded: A Technology Grand Slam for Small Business. We have addressed four distinct technology challenges that, when addressed together can provide your company a smooth and fast gateway to the future. We have presented the business case of finding a total solution that encompasses these vital business services:
- Business telephone system
- Monthly phone and data costs
- Voice & data reliability and redundancy
- Creation of a cloud-ready network