The cloud, the cloud

Posted by  April 8th, 2012

Oi you…yes you.. have you got your head in the cloud or what? We don’t blame you if you do, but is it the good cloud, or a cloud with your head under a pillow.

I’m going to be a straight shooter here and answer the question you’ve been wanting to know..

What the “#$%bleep” is cloud computing?

In layman terms, without scientific testing of my answers “..it’s the delivery of a computing product as a service. It’s something you would typically subscribe to rather than have a piece of software downloaded and installed onto your individual P.C or network”. The provider of the service (e.g Salesforce.com, Basecamphq.com) is responsible for the creation of the product as well as the central hosting and I.T requirements for this service.

What are some examples of cloud computing?

Salesforce.com or Zoho.com are examples of subscription services where you can ¬†subscribe to their services and set up a CRM or sales force monitoring program. The data you enter (e.g your customer list) is stored within your account (i.e viewed by you only), but is hosted on the suppliers servers and networks. The service provider (e.g Salesforce or Zoho) is responsible for product upgrades and the IT infrastructures supporting the management and storage of their services – this is probably where the term “stored in the cloud” comes from. The hosting is with them, not you.

Why would I want this?

Cloud computing and the various services offered by many suppliers is not for everyone. BUT a vast majority of businesses and companies are increasingly seeing the benefits. There are cost benefits (e.g minimal cost of monthly service programs vs customised/bespoke services). There are speed benefits (things can be up and running about as fast as the extent of your research and ability to use their sign up forms). There are support benefits, e.g they have teams of software developers responsible for the efficiency of the service they deliver, and not only that as many of these services have thousands (or millions) of customers they hear soon enough if something in their service needs to be fixed.

How Has ETradingGroup used the Cloud and So What?

In setting up ETradingGroup.com.au and then TradieExchange.com.au we used multiple cloud services. We did this for 4 main reasons:

1) Efficiencies for our business(s)

2) Cost to subscribe

3) Speed to implement

4) Collaboration – we needed to manage projects with people situated in different locations

Examples of services we use (or have used and tested) include; Basecamphq, Zoho, Salesforce.com, CampaignMonitor, Invoicemachine, Oliveapps.

We certainly have a number of hi-tech high security things we store within our own network, but the above are good examples of services we have found to be ‘fit for purpose’ and about right for our needs at the time needed.

So with much ado, and a multitude of opportunities ahead of you – we would recommend you take a look at alternative ways of doing business. Speak to others, do your research and take the opportunity to trial some of the offers so you can decide where or if there is a good fit.

We have worked with many start-up businesses and are having increasingly more discussions in this area. Not because we offer this as a service but because people just want to know how they can run their business more efficiently, or want to launch their start-up with efficiency and speed. We are in no way super experts in this field, we’ve just had practical experience and a bit of trial and error working through the services that suit us best. We wish all new businesses the best of success and encourage you to look ahead at how to maximise your opportunities within the world of online and e-commerce.

Found This Video On YouTube… Explaining the “Cloud”

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