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Some Tips That Will Ease Your Migration to the Cloud

The Cloud makes it easy to manage Voice and IT and expand your operations quickly, smoothly, and with click-of-the-mouse ease. But moving applications and workloads to the Cloud requires a well thought out plan to avoid unnecessary complexity, cost, and risk. Follow these tips to make your migration to the Cloud easier…

  1. Incremental Adoption – Moving to the Cloud need not be an “all or nothing” proposition. You may find that your Voice and IT systems and applications are best supported in a hybrid arrangement of Cloud and on-premises deployments.
  2. Business Continuity – Make sure your mission critical apps will reside in Cloud facilities that have faster performance, more reliable disaster recovery, and higher security than your own.
  3. Shared Obligations – Make sure the Cloud provider understands your obligations as well as its own obligations. Clarify whether you are signing on for ad hoc or complete, end-to-end support.
  4. Regulatory Compliance – Find a Cloud provider that can assist with measurement and reporting of metrics that apply to your business, such as HIPAA, PCI, SOC, ISO, and HITRUST.
  5. Team Skills – Moving to the Cloud doesn’t mean you can get along without technical expertise. Either your in-house IT team or your technology partner needs to be part of the migration process so they can help maintain the service levels your users and customers expect.

With a successful Cloud migration, you’ll have more time to pursue strategic initiatives that really have a big impact on your business, and you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that your Voice and IT are covered by experts you can trust.

PhoneAmerica can help you determine the Cloud solution that’s right for your business and manage the entire deployment for you. Contact your Account Executive or the Sales Dept. at sales@phoneam.com or call 610-296-2850, Option 2.

Why More Businesses Are Migrating to Cloud Services

When it comes to implementing voice and data solutions, businesses now have more choices – on-premises systems, public or private cloud, or a mix of both. For businesses struggling with procuring and maintaining their own servers and software, it may make more sense to rely on the cloud.

Public cloud solutions provide subscribers with pay-as-you-go information technology and voice services that originate from an off-site data center. The provider’s infrastructure is highly secure, properly equipped and professionally managed. Critical voice and data services are provided across internet protocol (IP) networks, such as broadband internet, or high-speed private data networks. Voice is treated as just another IP application so that data and voice share the same network connections.

High Availability

The off-site data center in the cloud becomes a “virtual” resource that can be accessed from any location and any device. Users simply log in with their web browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone. Remote users can view their personalized desktop and can use the applications and services as easily as they would back at the office. With every log in, “virtual” desktop and voice users automatically get the most updated versions of everything they need.

When a server goes down in the cloud, a redundant system immediately takes over. If a connection goes down, voice and data traffic are handed off to another connection. If there is a power outage, a generator or fuel cell array takes over. If a remote site loses its local connection, mobile devices can still connect via a wireless provider.

Operational Efficiency

Voice and IT cloud arrangements not only allow short-staffed businesses to minimize their equipment needs, they eliminate new hardware purchases, software upgrades and security patches too. Here’s what else to expect for your organization:

  • Fewer servers and less system hardware means less real estate, and lower power and cooling requirements.
  • Better management tools let you improve your server-to-admin personnel ratio.
  • Migrate and back up your virtual voice environment with no interruption in user service and recover quickly from unexpected outages.
  • Resources and personnel traditionally devoted to maintaining separate voice and IT systems and networks now can refocus on developing new apps and services that help grow the business.
  • Respond faster to market changes with dynamic resource management, server provisioning, and streamlined desktop and application deployment. Need to add a user? Just point and click.

Unprecedented Flexibility

Businesses now have the best of both worlds to choose from for all their voice and data needs. Those that require complete control or have unique custom requirements often go with on-premises systems.

Those that want advanced capabilities, but prefer them on a pay-as-you-go basis, will find the cloud a worthy alternative. Those with multiple office locations have the flexibility to use a mix of both on-premises systems and cloud services, and integrate all of their sites into a unified network.

PhoneAmerica can help you determine the solution that’s right for your business. Contact your Account Executive or the Sales Dept. at sales@phoneam.com or call 610-296-2850, Option 2.

 

Privacy vs Security in the Cloud

Security vs PrivacyThe rising popularity of cloud in the last few years has also thrown up some uncomfortable questions, both for the service providers as well as users. The primary concern of cloud service providers as well as users has been privacy and security in the cloud. It would be an understatement to say that it was predicted in the early days of the cloud that it could be easily abused by any of the cybercriminals around the world.

Today, the growing cases of cloud hacks have just made those prophecies true. Things are not going to get any better in the coming years because popular services like Dropbox and Sendspace have been abused by many people to host their illegitimate payload.

The Need for Privacy

People nowadays are more concerned about data privacy and they do not want to see their personal data being scrutinized by government agencies or monetized by the cloud data providers. For instance, when we upload our files on cloud storage, we do not want the service providers to search each and every file. We want such a system where customer’s data would be completely encoded and incomprehensible to the service provider. The primary clash is between privacy and security – we want to have the cake as well as eat it!

The Additional Cost of Privacy

In order to put things in perspective we will take up a very popular scenario:  There is a service provider who wants to ensure that their service is not being used by perpetrators for hosting malware. Thus, the service provider would have to use solutions like sandbox testing, file scanning etc. in order to test all the files that were uploaded. The provider will have to incur extra costs for this but at the same time, users can complain about the breach in data privacy, which can pretty much spoil goodwill and reputation of the company.

Where to Encrypt

On the other hand, if the service provider opts for private storage where the encryption is carried out on user devices, no one at the service provider’s end will have any idea about the data being stored.  Now, such a service is highly vulnerable for being used for malicious purposes by cybercriminals. Thus, both the legitimate users as well as the illegitimate users will be shielded from any type of data scrutiny. Both the approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In such a precarious environment, service providers will have to strike a balance between data privacy and security and offer a solution that suits both their business model as well as security. Thus, no matter how hard a service provider tries a certain level of abuse will still remain and this can be termed as an inevitable cost which has to be incurred for doing business.

Your Options

What options does the user have? Well, I would have to reiterate that abuse cannot be completely stopped; however, precautions can be taken by both the users as well as their service providers.  Users will have to take up the responsibility of data security and they cannot shrug it off just because the vendor chose to do otherwise. Users will have to strategize and find solutions for the safekeeping of data on the cloud and this can’t be completely handed over to the cloud service providers. There are pros and cons of using cloud storage and related services – you are the best person to judge because there is no one better than you who knows the importance of security for your business.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE