If you think that Cloud Computing is just for large organizations or companies with lots of servers and PCs then think again. In fact, small businesses are the ones who can actually benefit the most from moving their infrastructure and software to the Cloud.
Take for example a small business with 5 employees who are currently running POP3 mailboxes and are sharing files between PCs. They would like the ability of shared calendars, push email and a central location to store all their files. Historically, the most common solution to this would have been Microsoft Small Business Server, with a typical server and Microsoft SBS coming in at around 1000GBP. Before you have it installed and configured it can be a significant investment for any small business. Add in addition monthly maintenance, backup, hardware depreciation, SBS Client Access Licenses only available in packs of 5, for many this is not a financially pleasant road to go down.
Enter Cloud Computing and hosted services, there are many Internet Service Providers (ISP)s out there today offering Hosted Exchange with prices varying from 5.99GBP upwards per month. This might be acceptable for one or two mailboxes but is a significant monthly spend when you require 5 or more. Microsoft Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) provides hosted exchange, Office Communicator, Live Meeting and SharePoint in a bundle currently under circa 6GBP, there is a minimum initial order of 5 however above this number individual users can be added.
Businesses wishing only for hosted exchange functionality save even more! Centrally storing your files for anywhere access can be achieved with SharePoint and synchronising the folders within Outlook. Add to this the resilience and robustness of the Cloud Services offered by Microsoft, many businesses find their IT risk exposure significantly reduced in comparison to running in-house IT infrastructure.
Moving your business has never been easier or ore cost effective and if you partner with a Microsoft BPOS specialist then the transition can be planned, controlled and seamless to your business.