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Thread: Cloud Computing is Budget Computing for SMBs

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    Cloud Computing is Budget Computing for SMBs

    Cloud Computing is Budget Computing for SMBs

    Today, as we have a hard-hitting competitive business environment; the survival is for the toughest only. Only those can survive who have an increasing customer intimacy and business receptiveness and who has an effective grasp over using smart technologies.
    Every businessman’s prime goal is to accomplish the target of high financial gains and lower costs. The objective cannot be achieved unless and until the available resources i.e. human and material ones are managed and utilized efficiently.
    In the current era of technology, management of organizational resources has become colossal task. Companies have to spend an ample of budget for the purchase of business management solutions and the integration with the existing IT infrastructure.
    The cost factor can only be justified once the system is up and running and producing results. It is also said that most businesses go into slump by choosing wrong business management system. The term is known as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) which has remain the main concern for both end users and solution providers as it is the point of differentiation for both.
    Every time an organization thinks of taking up a management system, it starts with the thought of how will it benefit the business, either in monetary or operational basis. In case if the business is slumped it will be considered as an unwise expense that was taken up by them. That’s why many SMB’s are reluctant to even be negotiated for Business Management Systems.

    Ever since Software as a Service (SaaS) on-demand web-based/client model applications have been introduced in the market, business organizations have become autonomous in executing various tasks smoothly with less man power or heavy IT investments.

    Millions of dollars are spent by the corporations on licensing, surveying and implementation of the business management system available by different vendors in the market now. And if the buyer is not satisfied he has to stick with the solution till expiration of the license. That is where SaaS business management systems provide opportunity especially to SMB’s to manage their business operations and to achieve bigger targets at a very affordable price.
    Traditional, desktop based software have been overtaken by web-based applications which most commonly regarded as “online”, “hosted”, or “on-demand applications”. Owing to the increased dependability on the Internet and World Wide Web, today we see more and more businesses signing up with SaaS model applications readily available on the web for taking care of CRM, HRM, document management needs, contacts etc.
    Why? Not just because they save time, effort, cost but also because SaaS applications offer benefits to business due to their multi-tenant efficiency, flexibility and scalability features. During the current economically turbulent times, it has become even more imperative to lead the race of time and be the priority choice for every opportunity and every customer interactions than it was ever before. Furthermore, it is best to utilize a system without having to make hefty investments on software which otherwise can be expensive to install, administer and maintain. Who needs initial big investments or suffer headaches of maintenance or fear the risk of losing your data, simply sign up with our services and access your data in a safe medium with pay as you go facility. No rules, no contract.

    Vision Online Business Management System has been designed to fill the gap between various entry-level and multifarious high-end system. A cost effective management solution for your small or perhaps medium sized organization, Vision is a sophisticated business management tool packed with innovative features, facilitating with productivity-enhancing benefits and an array of customization options to befit your diverse business needs.
    Unlike some other software options, Vision is an all-in-one-solution, eradicating the need for purchasing other system modules separately for taking care of further different organizational/business tasks.

    With Vision you do not have to purchase any software or switch from your old system or implement anything additionally. Vision is a pay-as-you-go service, starting at a monthly cost of $39, yes just that! In contrast with others, licensed Business Management applications usually require a hefty license fee in advance, followed by smaller monthly maintenance fee which can usually sum up to be approximately 15-20% of the total license fee. Imagine that!


    Vision’s in-built six outstanding modules comprising of Project Management, Field/Support Services, Document Management, HR Management, Customer Relations Management, and lastly, Accounting Management, come along with a set of fully integrated and interlinked system developed to streamline your business, increase productivity, and boost your revenue.

    Along with the ease to set up and built-in security system, you can tailor your unique business needs with Vision’s customizable and scalable business solutions. Its powerful modules work seamlessly together in order to deliver incomparable performance, reliability, and add value to your business.

    Vision Online Business Management System allows your employees to collaborate and share vital information and systematize their work in a single real-time system. You can keep a track on all the functional and financial activity going on around your entire organization. Armed with that knowledge you can improve your processes - your entire company becomes smarter about prospects and customers and your ability to meet their demands and exceed expectations.
    Vision helps you maximize your customer relationships and other prospect opportunities that come your way. You can effortlessly streamline in-house employee or client communications in order to improve sales and service productivity which ranks up your overall business effectiveness and achievability.

    If you want to manage all your documents and projects in one place without losing any essential data and keep a track of time and budget, Vision qualifies for being your ultimate choice for meeting all your unique business demands.

    Enhance your sales and marketing efforts with an automated system that facilitates you in providing a better decision-making aptitude. Furthermore, it helps you stay updated with up-to-the-minute information and details any time.
    Vision enables you to forecast, track and administer your revenue plan, underlying projects in pipelines and other business goals.

    Without installing any hardware or software, only an internet connection can help you make it all doable with your Vision Business Management Solution, amplifying your business processes and workflow within fewer resources. This way, you can access your information, share and save data accordingly from remote locations without having to be restricted to your organizational or business premises.

    When you can easily get most of your work done with Vision’s multiple-tasking Online Business Management System, then why spend heavy funds and make investments on purchasing individual software to manage different organizational tasks?



    Mark Hoffman
    Senior Consultant
    Business Vision ME
    www.businessvision.me
    http://businessvisionme.blogspot.com/
    www.youtube.com/businessvisionme
    markh@businessvision.me

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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to decide whether this is just self-promoting-spam, or actually a useful post.

    Dave, what do you think?


    Mark, apart from starting your first post promoting yourself, would you care to contribute to the rest of the forum as well?
    Get superfast South African Hosting at WebHostingZone

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoftDux View Post
    Dave, what do you think?
    I feel much as you do. I let it run to get opinions

    Cloud computing is one of those buzzwords floating around at the moment. I get the basic idea, but at this point I'm not sure what the key deciding points are when assessing the value of going this route against using "conventional" systems. So at this time almost any discussion on the subject would seem to be of some value - even if all it achieves is to establish what is junk.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    This concept of Cloud Computing is fine - but not here and not now.

    Why not ?

    Well, you remember the days of the old XT PC, running DOS, later replaced with the bells and whistles of Windows 3.11. Ever since then, all upgrades in operating systems and raw PC power, have been praised and comments often heard along the lines of "I can work twice as fast" and the likes. Often you would upgrade to a new PC and just couldn't believe how much faster it was compared to your last model.

    Well, in my opinion, in South Africa, this Cloud concept would take us back to the level of Windows 3.11.

    Only yesterday I was doing some maintenance work on our SA based online database which is used by php script on our web sites. Now I have a 4mb ( well, that's the spec, anyway ) ADSL line, and the time delays to update records, search, go to the next page, etc, were agonising. Compared to what I can do in a fraction of the time in Access on my local PC, there just is no comparison.

    At one point, I considered moving our client management database online. The biggest stumbling block I found was the bandwidth which would slow down our ability to give prompt service to clients. At the moment, a client calls in, I know from the caller ID on my phone who it is, and before they even speak, I have their complete details on the screen in front of me. Now imagine telling the client to hold for a few minutes while you retreive their details off the internet. ( thinking about it, maybe Telkom have already gone this route ).

    Now if you're in a first world country where you have a 1Tb line, it might be a different story. But if you want to have your employees doing faster work and less sitting around, I wouldn't recommend the Cloud concept at the moment.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Cloud computing sounds like it will be fun for our service providers because they will be able to control our information and our ability to access the servers that is situated across the world. Basically it is a guaranteed income for your fat-cat service providers.

    Taking into consideration that all your data will be striped across networks across the world might make it more difficult for supper hackers but it will also mean that all your servers will have to be connected to the internet permanently and that all your users will basically access the net 24 7 and this is where data cost comes to play.

    Basically your internet traffic will kill your business. In South Africa cloud computing will be just too expensive
    peace is a state of mind
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    I'm glad that such objective discussion has been triggered on this topic. Very valid points have been presented, i'd like to go through them:
    1. The concept is as old as hotmail, yahoo, amazon, ebay and many others.
    2. bandwidth, agreed! just like you can't sell TVs in a place with no electric power services.. BUT, let's remember also that internet services have advanced a lot (a lot) and the need for faster connections is not imposed only by SaaS, Youtube, Facebook and P2P services require high bandwidth and ISPs have no option but to cope with that.. it will happen at different speeds here and there, but the fact that ISPs will cope with is not arguable.
    3. security: businesses including multinationals depend on internet services (email, backup (ironmountain), online banks, etc).. security precautions are always there.. and they work pretty well so far.

    on the other hand, the advantages are so obvious in terms of lowering the cost of implementation, no upgrades, no training, to name but a few..

    again .. thnx for the nice discussion..

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Mark, what sort of broadband speeds do you get in Egypt?
    And at what sort of cost per Gig (might be an idea to put that in Euro's or USD so that we could relate more easily)?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    Cloud computing sounds like it will be fun for our service providers because they will be able to control our information and our ability to access the servers that is situated across the world. Basically it is a guaranteed income for your fat-cat service providers.
    Hey, not all cloud service providers are fat-cats! I'm a small business owner, just like the rest of the people here, even though some days I wish I was a fat-cat. Your concern about control of information is valid though. I've been thinking of a possible solution to this. One is for providers such as myself to give clients the facility to "dump" all their data into a file with a structured format and a matching technical specification. My competitors (both in the cloud and offline) would then be able to write programs to transfer this data into their system.

    I'm quite sure this would have a positive impact on my business. It sends the message to my customers that I intend to keep them around through superior service rather than trapping them. And if all cloud providers went this route, it would go a long way towards legitimising cloud computing.

    So the key take-away for the readers here is that your provider must be committed to giving you ownership of your data, even if you never intend to move your data away.

    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    Basically your internet traffic will kill your business. In South Africa cloud computing will be just too expensive
    While I agree that the internet is very expensive today, there is a clear trend towards lower bandwidth costs. Also, typical business application web pages use much less bandwidth than most other internet activities.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveob View Post
    But if you want to have your employees doing faster work and less sitting around, I wouldn't recommend the Cloud concept at the moment.
    That's definitely a valid concern. I think the lost productivity isn't even the main problem - it's the constant frustration when you're just trying to do your job.

    A lot of web apps, even when they've been adapted for the SA market, were never designed to run under our conditions of constrained bandwidth. My server is in New Jersey, yet the product feels more responsive than that of my competitors who host their servers in SA. I believe it's possible for most web apps to achieve the same. Unfortunately there's not always motivation to expend the additional effort. I had no choice, since SA is my primary market and I need every competitive advantage I can get.

    Second key take-away: insist on a free demo to see how fast the system works. And if it's noticeably slow, and something you'll be using every hour of every day, you may want to pass. In my area (payroll) the system isn't used every single day, so slowness my be a bit more acceptable.

    Well we haven't even gotten to the pro's of cloud computing / SaaS (software as a service). Maybe I'll post on that at some later stage.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    The real danger of having such a service and a remote server storing your info is even with a contract stating that my info IS my info. If I fail and cannot pay my cloud bill I lose my business because of denial of service. Now, I can only speak for myself but having an online global server system holding my information might be good for backup but in the end of the day a local server and a proper backup system that is owned and run by myself sounds like a better solution because I will always have access to my information.
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    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    If I fail and cannot pay my cloud bill I lose my business because of denial of service.
    Hi tec0

    I'm not sure I'm following you. If you fail (I'm assuming you mean your business fails), then why would you need access to the service? Or were you referring to the case where you're just short on cash for a month or two, thereby losing your cloud service?

    I think if the cash flow in your business is that tight, you may have bigger problems than your cloud service being cut off They could cut off your landline, cell, internet, everything... it's more likely that you've already lost your business due to other reasons if you can no longer afford the fee for the service, rather than due to being cut off.

    I agree that many of the advantages of using a cloud service disappear if you have the technical know-how and enough time on your hands to do your own thing. But for those who don't, it still brings these benefits:

    • No need for backups, as you mentioned. (And I hope you do a full restore every month to see if your backups are working properly. You don't actually have backups until you do that)
    • No need to download software or keep it up to date with patches and updates.
    • Have you ever had software that ran fine under Windows XP, but refuses to cooperate on Windows Vista / Windows 7? None of those issues.
    • Superior support - your provider can actually see what's going on immediately, rather than the back-and-forth of screenshots that normally happens when trying to troubleshoot something.
    • No need to buy, setup and maintain your own server, for those kinds of applications that would require one. This is a big one. Most small business who need some kind of collaborative software can't afford to keep a technical person on staff. They can either get a technician in when needed, paid by the hour (which leads to unpredictable costs), or sign a support contract which includes a number of hours per month (and we're back at monthly billing, so maybe that cloud service isn't looking so bad after all).


    And so we come full circle by connecting the point about the server to your original objection about being cut off due to non-payment: what if your server dies and you don't have the money to replace it? That's an unexpected expense of thousands of rands that could actually sink a small business. A small, predictable monthly fee for a cloud service can be budgeted for.

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