Cloud Computing

What is it? (Really)

As it relates to technology, the term “cloud” originated from an actual picture of a cloud that was used to illustrate computer network diagrams in textbooks.  Computer networks can be quite complex, so it was chosen as a simple, abstract representation.  

With the Internet being the largest and most commonly used network, the two terms (Internet & Cloud) are often used interchangeably today. As PC Magazine puts it, “The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet.

Thus, when data or programs are stored and accessed from somewhere else on the Internet, they’re often said to be “in the cloud”, and “cloud computing” refers to the use or operation of computers in the cloud.  

Why use it?  
Cloud computing was designed to address a number of issues and chores that otherwise accompany programs and data that are ran from your local computer or server.  A few solutions associated with cloud computing include:

  • Virtually No Capital Expenditures
  • Automatic Software Updates
  • Easy Sharing of Information
  • Automatic Data Backups 
  • Increased Collaboration
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Work From Anywhere
  • Instant Scalability
  • Easy Encryption
  • Access Control
  • Real-Time Data

Who Else Uses the Cloud?
Do you have an email account? If so, you’re already enjoying the benefits of the cloud.  Every message you send is ultimately relayed by several computers, routers and servers in the cloud.  

Have you purchased goods online?  Do you watch movies on Netflix?  You guessed it - both were made possible by the “cloud”.  A few more everyday companies using the cloud include:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Wal-Mart
  • Nike 
  • Amazon
  • Starbucks
  • Chevrolet

How Can You Start?
While it’s likely you’re already using the cloud in a number of ways, new and affordable technologies are constantly providing innovations for businesses to operate more efficiently.   A few areas we can assist include:

  • Contact & Case Mgmt. - Access customer contact, sales, case and project info on the go.  
  • Self-Service Websites - Give your customers flexibility to do business on their schedule.  
  • HR Portals -  Securely exchange employee-specific information with your employees.   
  • Cloud File Sharing - Securely share and easily receive files of any type and size.  
  • Contracts & Signatures - Accept and record secure & legally binding contracts online.  
  • Remote Desktop - Securely access another computer and files from any internet connection.
  • Real-Time Metrics - Track marketing, sales and production as they happen. 

Whether you’re seeking a more user-friendly means to access business information while you’re on the go, or you’d like to give customers the convenience to sign a secure and legally binding contract over the internet, we have a solution for you.

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