As we move towards a more tech-centric future, the physical office that we all know is becoming less and less relevant as a necessity for conducting business. While this can seem scary or maybe far-fetched, consider that an increasing number of job applicants expect the flexibility to be able to work from anywhere. In our globalised economy, more and more businesses want to have the capability to widen their potential talent pool outside the physical confines of a local area.

Yet businesses and departments still need to be able to communicate, meet and collaborate. But when you have less people working in a physical office environment, how are you able to continue this type of teamwork and sharing of ideas?

Enter Skype for Business. We all knew Skype as a fun way to video call with friends and family. But Microsoft have now developed Skype for Business, and it is quickly becoming an integral part of your everyday business requirements.

There are many reasons why Skype for Business is the right choice for your organisation:

Increased Productivity

No more company time being wasted while everyone travels to the office to attend a meeting. Skype for business allows you to communicate and meet with team members and clients around the world, no matter where you are or what device you’re using. Up to 250 people can join a meeting using smartphones, tablets, PCs or phones. Communicate using audio, video and instant messaging. Meetings can even be recorded so that they can be viewed later if some people can’t attend in real-time- a great benefit for global organizations working in different time zones.

Skype Meeting Broadcast extends this reach even further, allowing meetings of up to 10,000 attendees for webinars, all-hands meetings or presentations.

Increased Collaboration

Teams can work together on documents and projects even when they aren’t in the same room. Skype for business includes integrated real-time co-authoring, desktop sharing, application sharing, and PowerPoint presentations. This saves time and effort that would have been wasted sending documents or presentations back and forth for editing and additions.

Using Skype for Business means your team members can receive calls no matter where they are, making your meetings and interactions mobile, convenient and efficient.

Lower Costs

Skype for Business allows your business to unify your voice communications, streamline your infrastructure and save money. With Skype for Business (with PSTN Conferencing) you can eliminate 3rd party conferencing and cost per minute charges all while receiving an unlimited audio-video cloud solution. Moving away from your traditional PBX phone system will mean that you can reduce your overall costs- no more paying for hardware, installation, electricity, maintenance and management. You’ll have a simplified voice system with integrated communication platforms and enhanced flexibility across the organization.

Highly Secure

Skype for Business Online has built in security, including an Intelligent Instant Message Filter which helps protect both your network and the Microsoft managed network.

Greater Flexibility

Moving to Skype for Business and a cloud-based communications solution doesn’t happen overnight. But with a hybrid deployment of Skype for Business and a cloud-based phone solution, you can easily transition away from your business’ reliance on outdated tools and expensive on premise solutions.

Skype for Business with PSTN calling will allow a smooth transition, allowing you to slowly integrate the latest technology into your business. This simplified voice system management will simplify daily operations, reduce costs and complexity, integrate your communication platforms and enhance flexibility across your organisation.

Integration & Transition Strategies

Ensuring your business gains the most value from Skype for Business is critical to the success of any implementation. We at Scope Logic Group are experts in developing Integration and Transition Strategies that engage your teams and get your solutions up and running in the shortest possible time.

Contact Us

If you’re ready to take the next step in increasing collaboration, productivity and communication in your business, or just have questions, one of our experienced Technical Solution Consultants is ready to help you.

Give us a call on 08 9228 4118 or email and one of our experienced security engineers will be able to come up with a solution for your business.

We are proud to announce that the Scope Logic Team has achieved the following Microsoft Competencies:

– Microsoft Silver Datacentre Competency

– Microsoft Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solution Competency

This achievement further demonstrates our team’s certified skills, including their qualifications to develop and support solutions for Office 365, Skype for Business with PSTN Conferencing, Azure, and Private Cloud Deployment, Datacentre Management, and Virtualization Planning Services.

These Scope Logic competencies are based on a combination of exams, completed projects, and recognition by both our customers and Microsoft. Congratulations to the entire team!

When researching cloud computing, you’ve probably come across the terms ‘public’, ‘private’ and ‘hybrid’ cloud.

The first thing you need to know is that each environment allows your business to access computing resources, from customer relationship management (CRM) software to digital storage. However, the manner in which your employees use applications, manage databases, run websites and so forth depends on your company’s cloud delivery solution.

Each business is different, and requires a distinct set of tools to support its operations. Hybrid, Public and Private Clouds deliver such tools in their own, unique ways. Choosing one or the other depends on your business needs. For example, a small business that is 100 per cent office based may benefit from using a hybrid approach consisting of customer-premises equipment and cloud-based communications, whereas a more mobile company would benefit by utilising more cloud-based services that are less reliant on the company’s physical location.

Basically, the goal is to provide the business easy, fast, cost-effective access to the information and communication technology that they need to excel at performing their tasks.

Cloud solutions enable you to access resources remotely.
Cloud solutions enable you to access resources remotely.

Before detailing the differences between a private, public and hybrid cloud, you need to understand the technology behind these delivery models.

Efficiency, scalability and convenience

From a technological standpoint, cloud computing is a solution that enables consumers and professionals to easily access storage, servers, software and other resources through an internet connection.

Cloud service providers design these ecosystems with two core technologies: virtualisation and automation.

While automation allows the cloud to allocate resources and manage workloads without human intervention, virtualisation logically (i.e. digitally) divides hardware into multiple, virtual iterations. So, when you apply virtualisation to a computer, you enable the machine to run multiple versions of itself simultaneously. It’s essentially the best way to get the most out of your equipment.

The Private Cloud

A Private Cloud is a computing environment owned and operated by an IT services provider. The services provider leases the computing resources within its Private Cloud to its customers. This means companies don’t have to share web-based services with other organisations.

One of the key advantages to using a Private Cloud is that businesses have greater control over their resources. However, supporting this infrastructure can prove time-consuming and difficult. That’s why many companies outsource administrative duties to managed service providers capable of dedicating their expertise and resources to optimising their Private Clouds.

A Private Cloud allows you to deliver all your business ICT services from just one provider, so you can have your email, files, print services, collaboration messaging, and telephony all delivered from your Private Cloud.

The Public Cloud

The Public Cloud is an online service that is accessible not only to businesses, but also to consumers. Dropbox, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Gmail and OneDrive are examples of public cloud services.

Public Clouds are more of an a la carte offering in comparison to a Private Cloud. You can choose to host your website with AWS, email with Gmail and do some basic file sharing with OneDrive. This approach suits the micro business, but is not a manageable solution for a business with a team of people who need to collaborate to meet goals.

Part of the challenge with Public Clouds is their manageability. Many Public Cloud services are trying to address this to make them more appealing to the Enterprise, but when you are subscribing to numerous services from numerous Public Clouds, there is always going to be a challenge with managing access.

Public Cloud services can also bring additional security risks to your business, mainly due to the fact that anyone can sign up to a Public Cloud service and then start storing company information in a location that is not controllable by the organisation.

The hybrid cloud 

As you may have guessed, a hybrid cloud is an ecosystem that consists of resources from a Public Cloud, Private Cloud and, when needed, equipment within a client’s offices. TechTarget noted that an enterprise may use multiple Private Clouds or Public Clouds to create a hybrid infrastructure, allowing it to use services from different vendors.

In areas where high speed internet connectivity is either costly or not available, a hybrid approach with equipment based on client premises is quite common, which alleviates the demand on the internet connection. Cloud Communication services such as cloud based email isn’t a huge drain on an internet connection, so this is often a good element to migrate to the Cloud first – this gives the business uninterrupted access to critical email services on all their devices.

The advantages associated with hybrid clouds include:

  • Running mission-critical and sensitive workloads on the Private Cloud or CPE
  • Allocating software testing and development tasks to the Public Cloud or Private Cloud
  • Automatically provisioning unexpectedly high workloads to the Public Cloud or Private Cloud

Typically, Public Cloud providers and IT service providers will help businesses establish the network connections and architectures necessary to maintaining a hybrid cloud. Yet, this isn’t always an option.

How a Managed Service Provider can help you choose 

Choosing a public, private or hybrid solution ultimately impacts your ability to maintain and adjust operations. A managed service provider will assess your business’s day-to-day processes to select the most appropriate delivery model. The chief goal is to deliver a cloud system that serves as the backbone of your organisation, enabling you to run a competitive, adaptable business.

The technology world is becoming more stable and easier to access, but it also presents a wide array of options that can be difficult to comprehend. The team at Scope Logic can translate technical jargon into the business language you understand. We’ll help you select the technology that will best support your operations, ensuring your business can expand and adjust to an ever-changing market.

Cloud computing has become much more than a trend for a number of companies, with the technology now forming the basis for IT and business growth across multiple industries.

In fact, the adoption of these services is marking a dramatic shift away from standard IT practices, providing a new option for business looking to diversify. Now, these companies can open their doors to the benefits inherent in cloud solutions, such as scalable infrastructure and outsourced maintenance.

Research has found that cloud spending is growing rapidly throughout Australia and the rest of the world, so if you’re still on the fence it could be time to take the plunge.

Cloud spending reaches new heights in Australia

Technology research firm Telsyte plotted the course for the future of cloud computing in Australia, finding that the technology is set to be adopted at a rapid rate over the next five years. In particular, Telsyte discovered that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms – where data can be stored off site and transmitted over the internet – will be the catalyst for these spending increases.

The growth the firm is predicting is staggering. As of this year, the IaaS market is worth $366 million. If Telsyte’s forecasts are correct, this will grow to just shy of $800 million by the end of 2019.

According to Telsyte Senior Analyst Rodney Gedda, businesses are catching on to the advantages of moving certain services off the premises.

“Both the uptake and spending value of cloud is increasing as more testing and production workloads, including virtual machine backups and disaster recovery, are being deployed off-premises,” he said.

“The hybrid cloud architecture, and dealing with multiple cloud service providers, both present opportunities for more automation and process improvement.”

What’s happening in the rest of the world?

The global nature of business means that, now more than ever, Australian SMEs need to keep tabs on the developments making waves overseas to ensure they’re up to speed. According to IDC, the international market has its sights set on cloud computing as well.

IDC found that cloud spending increased by 14.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, reaching US$8 billion worldwide. These figures mean the technology accounted for almost a third (30 per cent) of total IT investment for the quarter, painting it as the IT development of choice for a range of businesses.

Supporting this research, networking equipment manufacturer Cisco confirms this growth will continue for the foreseeable future, not only in financial terms, but in sheer data use as well.

The firm found that by 2018, cloud solutions will be increasingly popular, with 31 per cent focused in the public cloud and 69 per cent in the private alternative.

Scope Logic can tailor a cloud solution for SMEs that ensures your company will not miss out on these developments. Contact us today on 08 9228 4118  or send us an email to arrange a complimentary Cloud Consultation.

What can cloud computing offer your business?

What can cloud computing offer your business?