Saved by the Cloud is a series designed to help you formulate a BC/DR plan for your company. Part I exposed the risks of not having a plan in place when disaster strikes. In Part II -Phase I, we will begin the process of developing a strategy.
Use your current operation as the template for developing a plan to startup a new business. List all of the necessary communications applications and systems, databases, CRM, physical or virtual networks… everything. Do not analyze the components or evaluate their effectiveness, just make a list. Next, imagine you are a clone of yourself starting a new business to compete with your present one (a business clone). Make a wish list of everything required to get the new operation started using the latest technologies with particular emphasis on business continuity and disaster avoidance.
Wish List of Ideas - Hosted or Cloud Enhanced
- Cloud/hosted VoIP
- Cloud/hosted Fax
- Cloud/hosted UC
- Microsoft Lync (Co-lo)
- Hybrid Cloud Fax
- Software-as-a-Service (catch-all category)
- Cloud/hosted Accounting Applications
- Microsoft CRM (Co-lo)
- Microsoft Office 365
- IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS -new and hot)
- Employee Home Offices
- Fully Mobile Home Offices
- High-end Mobile Smart Devices
Use the above as a starting point and create your own list based on your organization’s requirements. The catalog of hosted service options seems to be growing exponentially and most provide a blend of features perfectly suited for the BC/DR market. First, for small organizations, hosted or managed services are simple to deploy and maintain. Second, they can provide significant cost savings compared with the traditional arrangement of customer premise equipment (CPE) combined with a separate DR site.
Data storage, (SaaS (News - Alert)) and VoIP were some of the earliest hosted cloud solutions and continue to be widely popular. Current hot items include IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS), suites like Microsoft Office 365 plus some hybrid newcomers like Hybrid ITaaS and Hybrid Fax services. Hybrids combine CPE with cloud architectures and are particularly attractive for industries like healthcare that prefer to maintain on-premise customer records. Two hybrids offer unique opportunities suited to these types of industries. Entreda’s (News - Alert) IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) and etherFAX’s fax hybrid both offer CPE deployments combined with a secure cloud service.
Both service offerings tout their high levels of security and both utilize advanced encryption as part of their solutions. For etherFAX, which never actually stores faxes off-site at their facilities, encryption provides a secure pipe to the customer to safeguard the TIFF formatted documents and transactional data. Entreda’s ITaaS Suite manages every device on the customer network so encryption is used to ensure that information and data access is fully secure.
Hybrids are relatively new to the cloud picture but, being one of the first a couple of years back, etherFAX can definitely be classified as an established service. Entreda is in the launch stage but has already been recognized by TMC (News - Alert) as “Best Onsite Launch” at ITEXPO West in Austin TX, so it is on the right track.
Speaking ITEXPO, don’t forget to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013 January 30 - February 1, 2013 Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, Florida, to view the latest in communications and cloud technologies. One session will be of particular interest to anyone interested in Business Continuity Planning:
SESSION: Friday, 2/1/2013 at 10:00-10:45am
TRACK: Enterprise Program
Surviving Sandy: Business Continuity Strategies that Work
Part II, Phase II of the Saved by the Cloud Series will explore how to use your audit/wish list to prioritize the applications or services that need to be upgraded or replaced first.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Max Schroeder is senior vice president of FaxCore (News - Alert) Inc. (www.faxcore.com) and managing director of the DPCF.
Edited by Brooke Neuman