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Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
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Matt Brunk | March 27, 2008 |

 
   

Maybe You Should Get Your Head in the Clouds

Maybe You Should Get Your Head in the Clouds With Amazon's recent fumble with their EC2 services I think it's fair to say that "cloud" computing is still in Beta. The network service providers have pending legislation hanging over them and there are many opportunities to blend and merge service offerings together to provide a strengthened hosted platform for users seeking to adopt Unified Communications. In this next evolution of technology, hosted providers have an opportunity to do more than razzle dazzle customers with features while using fewer resources. Isn't "good management" about utilizing and maximizing your available resources?

With Amazon's recent fumble with their EC2 services I think it's fair to say that "cloud" computing is still in Beta. The network service providers have pending legislation hanging over them and there are many opportunities to blend and merge service offerings together to provide a strengthened hosted platform for users seeking to adopt Unified Communications. In this next evolution of technology, hosted providers have an opportunity to do more than razzle dazzle customers with features while using fewer resources. Isn't "good management" about utilizing and maximizing your available resources?

With Amazon's recent fumble with their EC2 services I think it's fair to say that "cloud" computing is still in Beta. The network service providers have pending legislation hanging over them and there are many opportunities to blend and merge service offerings together to provide a strengthened hosted platform for users seeking to adopt Unified Communications. In this next evolution of technology, hosted providers have an opportunity to do more than razzle dazzle customers with features while using fewer resources. Isn't "good management" about utilizing and maximizing your available resources?There are two very similar user models- one is the homeowner with or without an IT relative or friend that lends support. Then, there's the very-small and small business owner that wears a lot of hats including IT, and whether or not he has any IT aptitude, he or she is stuck with the role. Both make do with what they have unless it becomes unbearable, then, they make haste to call some geek squad from the phone book that may provide relief. Both of these models, sum, equals the "mass appeal."

EMC is acquiring Pi, (stands for Personal Information Corporation) a software and service company that helps users keep track of and manage their personal data. EMC already owns Mozy, an online Saas backup service, and Fortress, which provides a platform for cloud-based services. EMC has already formed the "Cloud Infrastructure and Services Division."

Now just to add a little contrast and comparison to the fold. Apple offers an online backup service under its MAC DOT COM service offering (California). Mac users have built into their MAC OS the ability to backup to the "cloud." Mac users can publish books, calendars and greeting cards using cloud services. Video teleconferencing is there for any Mac to Mac. In addition, Apple customers can easily publish and maintain their own websites. Calendaring is another cool Apple feature and synching with other internal users including your iPhone (AT&T) is painless. Managing the email isn't so easy with DOT MAC but not impossible to resolve with another host.

Our email and email security is hosted in the cloud by two different providers. One provides email for our domain (Connecticut), and MX Logic for security (Colorado). Then, a few weeks earlier I wrote about Packet Island providing hosted VoIP assessment, troubleshooting and verification services using a small appliance and the cloud. There already are hosted Microsoft services including the loosely defined Unified Communications services.

The problems existing hosts have is the ability to provide an affordable solution enabled with UC features that appeals to the masses and is offered at wholesale rates. My question is why and my bet is "licensing costs."

In I Don't Know if This Phone is Such a Good Idea, I listed the many services that we use in our organization. It's clear to me that software services need converging. The same is true about onsite hardware. Lastly, it still seems to me that the greater payoff isn't convergence of voice, but instead all the data needs of the organization. Communications features such as fax, chat and videoconferencing are good elements to be included. Whether or not you agree and feel that cloud computing is viable, doing more for less isn't a situational theme song. It's simply good management practice. Presently, the Internet seems to be more utilitarian in meeting needs. Getting to applications and great voice services may be more challenging than vendors are willing to admit. While there is no right one way, there will be more choices, as Amazon, Cisco, EMC, Google and Microsoft are aligning their resources to meet more of these needs in the cloud.





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