A growing number of business decision makers have recently started down the path of leveraging cloud services while many organizations are in the early stages of exploring how hosted services can help their companies. Some early adapters who met with challenges discontinued their initial plans to migrate computing resources to the cloud, Many companies have yet to take their first steps. Some early adopters who met with challenges discontinued their initial efforts to migrate computing resources to the cloud, but now, with more stable platforms and the proliferation of cloud providers, they are taking a fresh look. No doubt, the topic of cloud computing has much ‘buzz’ around it, and it probably suffers from over exposure. But don’t let that discourage you from exploring how your business can benefit from cloud services. This presentation outlines some basics of cloud computing and provides a list of resources, including white papers and research from industry leaders such as Gartner, on how companies can effectively migrate to cloud services.
This presentation will help business decision makers understand how cloud services can support organizations of any size.We’ll take a moment to consider CornerStone’s own history with cloud services and then define “The Cloud” in very straightforward, business terms – leaving the technical deep dive to the technical experts.We’ll alsoshare a high-level categorization of cloud services that will help business decision makers see what’s possible in the cloud.Finally, we’ll review a couple case studies that reveal how some businesses realized the benefits of the cloud.
CornerStone was founded over 10 years ago. As a 2-person start-up, business to business competitive local exchange carrier with few resources to allocate to IT, we embraced hosted services as a necessity.2002: We had low end computing hardware, no IT staff, so we outsourced and relied on local ASP, SkySphere, and on Constellation – a hosted software we used for billing and provisioning. 2005: By now, we needed computing services in multiple offices and for remote employees. We delivered company-wide access to e-mail and shared files and kept IT staff headcount low by using hosted desktops. These positive experiences with using SaaS led us to become an agent and we found our end customers slowly embracing hosted services.2006: We took first steps to become a cloud service provider. We bought a next generation class 5 central office softswitch and acquired 40% share of SkySphere
By 2009, we were in a position to purchase Richmond Telephone, independent telephone company in western Massachusetts and were met with great response from organizations there when we brought our hosted solutions to that market. By 2011 we were able to become fully entrenched as a cloud provider. We completed our acquisition of SkySphere and purchased Activehost – a provider of cloud and Data Center services as well as PINS, a CLEC in Manhattan who also provides Data Center hosting.
As I mentioned when discussing our history, we’ve been trying to answer this question …what is the cloud … for our business customers since ~2005, before the term “cloud” took hold. You won’t hear a technical overview this morning. Instead, I’ll offer some general definitions of cloud services and consider how it solves business problems.Let’s start our definition by considering what the cloud is used for - this 40 second clip gives you an idea of what the cloud does…http://www.cornerstonetelephone.com/skysphere/intro-video
Cloud computing might be more accurately described as "sky computing," Basically, content is available for us to reach, by using an Internet connectionWe experience it in our daily lives at work and at home
Some benefits of using the cloud can be compared to taking a taxi instead of buying a car. The driver may know a faster way to get to your destination, you don’t need to find parking, you don’t need to navigate traffic, You’re free to focus on more valuable work while the driver has eyes on the road. And..it’s a variable cost — you only pay for what you need.With Cloud Computing, you transfer the burden of IT service delivery to the Cloud vendor andyourIT team can focus on more strategic, value-added efforts. The vendor is has obligations to meet like compliance, Service LevelAgreements, disaster recovery, and 24/7/365 support.
You hear the phrase cloud computing everywhere. The problem is that everyone seems to have a different definition.The definition comes into focus when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing can be considered as any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT's existing capabilities.Gartner, an industry research firm, defines cloud using 3 broad categories – Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service.
Software as a Service (SaaS) might be the most familiar cloud service with applications like facebook, flickr and amazon.Google Docs for hosted word processing or document sharing. Salesforce.com – a hosted customer relationship management application. In this model, the vendor delivers an application to it’s end user customers through a web browser. The vendor builds and maintains huge server farms and the customer has all the benefits the service offers withnone of the upfront investment in servers or software.Salesforce.com is by far the best-known example among enterprise applications, but SaaS is also common for accounting and human resources as well as desktop applications such as Microsoft office suite with Word, Excel, and other desk-top programs.
With Platform as a service, the cloud provider gives the user – usually a software developer – access to a computing platform that includes hardware, servers, OS, and storage.The customer has all the responsibility for downloading whatever custom applications they need to carry out their development work. They have flexibility to add or remove capacity as their project requires.This service might be used when the customer isn’t willing to buy and manage the hardware …for instance, they might need only a temporary environment where they can work development until they move the final version of the software to a production environment. Or they might need a production environment and can’t afford the capital or the headcount to support it on their own premise.
Here, the provider offers virtual equipment such as virtual private servers, CPUs, storage devices and other networking hardwareThe customer has complete freedom to download application software of their choice, their own data, their choice of middleware and even some choice of Operating System. Infrastructure as a Service frees the IT team from managing hardware, maintaining proper environmental conditions, and Gives a worry-free computing infrastructure where they can develop specialized, custom applications.Some forecasts show global growth of this segment from $3.7 billion to $10.5 billion by 2014
With these definitions in mind, you can begin to see clearly some of of the key benefits of cloud services. We’ll quickly take a look at a couple of case studies that will highlight benefits such asAccomplish security and privacy compliance with legal requirements especially demanding and complex in industries such as Health Care, Insurance and Finance Enjoy reliability and affordability of scalable storage Pay as you use VS. large up front capital investments
Case studies help show solutions available n the cloud. We don’t have time to discuss each, so I’ll quickly highlight the first two When this hospital lost internet connectivity or power at the main location, it would bring down other locations. They didn’t have in-house expertise to architect the required solution – so they relied on their cloud service provider to do it for them. At a municipality in Warren County, 1 IT person was supporting 100 users. Moving to hosted exchange freed up his time to focus on strategic initiatives by having our his cloud service provider’s certified Microsoft engineers support his users email. And that cloud providers support is available 24/7/365We’re very familiar with these case studies since the cloud solution these clients rely on happens to be provided by CornerStone!
It’s not a cure-all, so set your expectations accordingly!
You’ve probably noticed some common themes that I’ve been touching on. The cloud helps solve challenges with availability, security, flexibility and reduced costs. We’ll take a brief look at these now.
Cloud computing can help keep your business going even when you’re hit with outages or other disruptions since you’re hosting your applications so they’re available anywhere you can get on the Internet.Most small and midsized businesses don’t have the money or staff for redundant platforms.Cloud services are an alternativeSimilarly, most SMBs don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place so they can rely on the plan of their cloud provider.A trend noted back in 2010 by the Yankee Group showed businesses started increase reliance on virtualization to improve the availability of computing resources. And more recently, a third of newly founded enterprise companies had over 50% of their IT budgetearmarked for cloud services.
There’s no shortage to challenges we face when securing our company’s data and protecting consumer privacy.International Data Corporation reports 75% of companies with at least 500 employees are usinghosted or virtual service and 50% run mission critical applications in the cloud.A Yankee Group report on trends in Fortune 1000 companies – so companies with extensive cash flow and available capital – showed security as a top attribute in selecting a cloud provider. The US Defense Information Systems Agency has successfully leveraged the cloud to support a joint communications program for US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.industry leaders and government agencies are finding solutions that are secure and compliant through their cloud service providers.
Increasing number of employees spend most of their workday away from the office50% of small business employers allow their employees to work from home to help free up office space and provide flexible schedules that employees needCloud services are available for hosted e-mail, desktop files, and hosted phone service, the ability to accommodate flexible work arrangements is not only possible, but also affordable and secure.
Many businesses have responded to the current economy by either flattening or outright declining budgets for information technology as the third most importantly ranked strategy among IT decision-makers.The same survey shows many of these CIOs plan to increase their use of cloud services as a way to reduce overall departmental expendituresThese results in the 2011 report from the US Government, “Federal Cloud Computing Strategy,” shows the impact of cloud services that speak for themselves.
I hope our time together here has helped you understand the many benefits of cloud services and that you have a better understanding of how you can use the cloud to help your business thrive.
You’re not going to get strategy and direction from the cloud – but you will be able to leverage the benefits of the technology to help you accomplish your business goals.
Thank you! Contact me if I can help answer any questions or if you’d like to talk with more technical contacts, I can arrange that, too.
Leveraging the Cloudfor Your Business
Discussion outline CornerStone’s journey with the cloud What is the cloud? Categories of cloud services Case studies reveal benefits of the cloud
Our history with cloud services2002 Challenge: Launched with limited capital and limited resourcesSolution: Use local ASPs for billing, provisioning, CRMResult: Became a provider known for quality and value2005 Challenge: Integrate sales and operations in 4 offices, support remotesSolution: Rely on hosted desktop and leverage ASPResult: Became SaaS agent2006 Challenge: Shift from services to solutionsSolution: Buy softswitch (VoIP & hosted voice), acquire 40% SkySphereResult: Began to see increase in average revenue per user
Our feet firmly planted…head in “the cloud”!2009 Acquired Richmond Telephone/Richmond Networx2011 Acquisitions establish CornerStone as cloud provider Data Center Services Cloud Computing Hosted Voice Services Network and operations presence in Manhattan
The Cloud is for EveryoneAt work, at home, on the road!Banking – at ATMs and onlineAmazon – shoppingSocial networking – communicatingGoogle – e-mail and document sharingApple – entertainment
Cloud Computing…Hire a taxi or buy a car?Taxi driver/company• Drives the car• Fills the tank• Maintains the vehicleYou pay a fixed ‘rate’and taxi gets you there.You’re the owner• Insure the vehicle• Pay for upkeep• Keep it secureUpfront and ongoing costgives you pros and consof owning the car.
Three categories of serviceApplication(SaaS)Platform(PaaS)Infrastructure(IaaS)
Software as a ServiceApplication(SaaS)Caters to end users Customer uses services for business, shopping or recreation Vendor manages all applications, data, operatingsystem (OS), servers, storage and entire computerinfrastructure
Platform as a ServicePlatform(PaaS)Caters to developers Customer brings their own application software and data Vendor supports middleware, OS, servers, storage, and all hardware Let’s user develop and host customized applications
Infrastructure as a ServiceCaters to IT staff who want access to remote hardware Customer manages application software, data, middleware and some OS Cloud provider delivers virtual equipment including servers, storage Customer has worry-free hardware, maintenance, environmentalconditions Global growth from $3.7 billion to $10.5 billion by 2014Infrastructure(IaaS)
Case StudiesCARDIOVASCULAR HOSPITAL Syracuse, NYNeed: Scalable, high availability, compliant solutionfor 5 remote locationsSolution: 150 Virtual Xen DesktopsMUNICIPALITY Warren CountyNeed: Scalable solution for collaboration anddemand for growing email storageSolution: 100 hosted Microsoft Exchange seats with25GB mail boxes - sync to mobile phones includedMAJOR HOSPITAL Western MassachusettsNeed: Reduce $85,000 annual fee for encryptedemail to support 2500 users.Solution: Hosted service on gold standard platformfor $35,000NATIONAL BANK Headquarter in MassachusettsNeed: Become compliant with Gramm-Leach Bliley Actfor financial privacySolution: Hosted Exchange with archiving and emailencryptionAUTO DEALERSHIP Albany, NYNeed: Secure, off site backup for 1 Terabyte of data, andgrowingSolution: Online backup with data de-duplication for fast, secure off site backup
What Problems Can Cloud ComputingHelp Solve? Availability Security Flexibility Reduced costs
Availability, Reliability andDisaster Recovery Constant access to business applications Leverage your cloud provider’s disaster recovery plan Alternative to customer-owned, redundant platforms
SecurityChallenges Increasingly complex Increase in hacker activity and available malware Fines for non-compliance with HIPAACloud solution Standards compliance / SaaS 70 Proven results for Fortune 1000 and U.S. Armed Forces
FlexibilityChallenge Increasing number of work-from-homeemployees Need to collaborate, share files, and communicate with easeCloud Solution Portability Hosted e-mail, desktop files, and hosted phone servicethat are affordable and secure
Reduced costsGartner’s 2011 CIO Agenda survey: reducing cost as atop priorityU.S. Government’s CIO shows savings as agencies move to the cloud GSA: move 17,000 users to hosted e-mail saves $15 million Dept. of Agriculture: move 120,000 users to hosted e-mail saves$27 million D.O.D: $54,000 up front for cloud avoids $1 million in legacy upgrade Department of Health and Human Services implements electronic healthrecords using cloud service. Reduces time to market from over 1 year toonly 3 mos., supporting over 100,000 primary care practitioners.
Position yourself to competeFaster timeto marketCreation ofnew valuedriversEasier toscale-outLowerupfront ITcostsImmediateaccess to hardwareresourcesNo upfrontcapitalPay-per-usebillingScalability &AffordabilitySeamlesslyscale services incorrelationwith client demandLower IT barriersto innovationSupportinteroperabilitybetween legacy /new platforms
Learn more about cloud computing Singin’ in the Rain and Workin’ in the Cloud, CornerStone newsletter includes a 14-pagearticle from industry thought leader Gartner with insight on how to address risks ofmoving your data to the cloud. Leveraging the Cloud for Your Business, a brief article, complete with references, thatprovides overview and practical steps for your organization.www.cstel.com/leverage_the_cloud High Bandwidth Internet Access: Opening Doors to Business Innovation, discussestrends and case studies on innovation enabled by bandwidth and cloud services.www.cstel.com/high_bandwidth_internet_access Can You Really Find Security in the Cloud?, addresses benefits organizations canrealize by using cloud services to comply with data security regulations.www.cstel.com/data_security_in_the_cloud