A major buzz word for 2009/2010 has been “cloud computing”, where your applications and servers are not actually hosted locally, but instead “in the cloud”, on a remote server or servers. Thus eliminating the need for you to purchase an expensive Microsoft Server and Microsoft Exchange Server, all the licensing, then the Microsoft Office applications for each of your users, not to mention the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading all this. Instead, you sort of rent the usage of this technology from an in-the-cloud vendor.
Let me go ahead and get the buzz words out of the way so the uninitiated will stop hating me.
In-The-Cloud, or “The Cloud” – Just think of the cloud as the internet. Something that is out there, elsewhere. Not local. It would be “in the cloud”.
Cloud Computing, Hosted Solution, Software As A Service, SaaS – These are all the exact same thing, or variations on a theme. It means, the hardware and software is not all hosted locally at your site. Some or all of it is hosted at remote sites and accessible via the internet. Sometimes with a simple browser, and sometimes with a download of an applet or software package to access it. The largest part of the computing power and storage requirements takes place outside your facility.
Google Apps – A suite of software and services that is hosted in the cloud. These applications could potentially replace a Microsoft Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office, and the need to maintain and upgrade all that. What you get: Gmail, a mostly web based mail application similar to Microsoft Outlook. Google Calendar, a calendaring system similar to what Outlook offers. Google Docs, which is similar to everything the rest of the Microsoft Office suite offers, including document editing via a word processor, spreadsheets similar to Excel, drawings and presentations similar to Microsoft Powerpoint. You also get Google Groups, which is a group sharing system with mailing lists, and Google Sites, a web hosting/authoring package, and last but not least, Google Video, a place to host your video.
Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite – This is the direct competitor of Google Apps, and offers the familiar Microsoft look and feel. With this you get a familiar Microsoft Office and Outlook interface.
These are both great solutions for some businesses. And as the headline reads, The City of Los Angeles ditched GroupWise, a very expensive system to go with Google Apps. Could this be the right solution for your business? A free consultation with us might just answer that question. Please call us today at 864-990-4748. We will closely analyze your needs and tell you if either of these options will work for your application.
Homeland Secure IT, LLC is a reseller of both Google Apps and Microsoft BPOS, as well as other hosted solutions, such as Servosity online backup to backup your computers and servers automatically! We offer service to Greenville, the Upstate of SC, and national sales.