Cloud computing — it’s hard to open an industry magazine or newspaper without reading about how the Cloud is going to change everything. Almost every technology firm is offering a cloud solution or transitioning their programs and clients over to the cloud. At Microsoft, we’ve welcomed the potential of cloud computing and are working hard to help our clients and small businesses who want to make the move to cloud computing do so as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. But we also believe that you have a choice and that the cloud does not mean all or nothing.
Though the term cloud computing has only recently become widespread, chances are, you’ve already been using cloud computing. Microsoft Hotmail is a brilliant example of cloud computing — a web-based e-mail program that allows you to access it from anywhere in the world at anytime as long as you have an internet connection and it’s independent of what kind of computer you use. As long as you have a web browser you can access your Hotmail on a PC, Mac, mobile phone, or tablet. Your e-mails are stored on central servers and Microsoft takes care of the background technical stuff and security.
Imagine if you could remotely access all your Word, Excel, and other files like you do your Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo mail? That’s cloud computing — web based apps that work on any device with an Internet connection.
Some people and businesses may not want this for understandable reasons:
- They use special software that is currently not available in the cloud, and perhaps may never be.
- They prefer to keep all of their information on premise due to its sensitive nature, and believe that they can have better control of it if it stays stored locally.
- They live somewhere, where the Internet connection is still not reliable.
There are of course other reasons, but these are a few examples, and we understand them, which is why we believe in choice.
If you and your business are ready to transition over to the cloud, we’ve made it very simple. If you have Microsoft Office installed on your PCs, you can already use Office Web Apps, which allow you to view and edit your documents via a browser on your mobile phone. Office Web Apps don’t replace Office 2010, but they do give you more options on where you can be productive.
With the vast amounts of information we produce every day, storage is always an issue. Microsoft’s free online backup solution SkyDrive allows you to store documents online and access them anywhere anytime as long as you have an Internet connection. With SkyDrive you can decide which data and how much is stored online.
Those wishing to make a full transition of their productivity suite over to cloud computing will find Office 365 to be the most comprehensive solution. It includes Office Web Apps, enterprise-grade e-mail (Exchange Online) and an array of collaboration tools to help you and your employees communicate and work better with Lync Online. Office 365 works seamlessly with your existing Office software, so there is no disruption in your work, no need to transfer data over to a new program, and best of all, because it uses a familiar user interface, there is no learning curve. Best of all the affordable monthly fee costs less than upgrading dektop software every three to four years thereby helping to reduce your IT costs.
Still not sure if the cloud is right for you? That’s alright. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Office 365 and see for yourself if this is the solution that’s right for you. Getting started is quick and easy, and you’ll love what you can do. Or learn more about the Cloud and Microsoft’s hosted business applications and how you can benefit.
Use our Solution Finder and get expert advice customized to your needs when selecting your new Microsoft software.