We had a referral to a small business and met with them. Here is what we discovered:
- They all have dandy Windows 7 machines (but only 32 bit).
- They are heavy email (Outlook) users.
- They use Dynamics CRM (hosted by MS).
- They have their email hosted at live.com and want their own exchange server.
- They use a WD "mybook" for local file storage and do an online backup to MOZY.
- They ordered an Exchange server (hosted) through their voip hosted provider. What they weren't told... they need an AD server and VPN at their office to make it work properly. Oh, they also need a backup solution for the email.
They needed someone to deploy the Exchange server and make sure they had their MOZY working to get all their files backed up.
What they ended up with:
- Migrating all of their email to Google Apps. Add the Microsoft Outlook Plugin and email is done!
- Getting rid of their "mybook" and "Mozy" backup service, and replacing them with a vmware appliance (via Egnyte). The service from Egnyte gets all of their files replicated online and made available through several methods/apps.
- Self Administration of email, backup and file services. Granted there is a little learning curve, but seriously, managing email in Google is sooo much easier than Exchange. Add to that the simplicity with Egnyte, it becomes bearable.
A lower monthly service bill from online providers than what they had before and a much more dynamic network with barely any infrastructure changes. More email and file storage capacity. Oh... All Egnyte and Google services are "subscription" based services, so when you get those bills, be sure to put those in "fees/dues/subscriptions" and not in software licenses or assets to amortize!
What's on the horizon?
- A "smarter smartphone" deployment.
- Perhaps a different CRM. One that maybe does a plugin directly to Google Apps and is easier to use?
- Moving Quickbooks to our Citrix farm or moving accounting to an intergrated CRM platform like Zogo or salesorder.com.
We're here to help your firm navigate the cloud. We consult with small and large firms regardless of location. If you firm could benefit from a deployment like the one we just described, contact us