The Appearance of Cloud-Based Business Services
Cloud business services are now beginning to rapidly appear, often delivered out of service provider public clouds. Cloud computing offers businesses the ability to increase productivity by enabling their end-users to work anywhere, anyplace, at anytime. Delivering multiple services in a multi-tenant environment also offers Service Providers the opportunity to decrease their data center costs through consolidation and efficiency. This shift from standalone applications designed to work entirely within a silo to a flexible network of information really benefits the end-user.
Cloud-based applications are delivered from the data center across the next-generation network to the user’s fingertips and can scale to business needs, cost less with an on-demand pricing schema, and allow the business to focus on its core competencies instead of figuring out how to deploy the latest applications. What’s great here as well, is a multitude of cloud-based applications and services for consumer mobile platforms are being developed with the corporate world in mind.
I’d like to share a couple of cloud-based applications which are available (or soon-to-be-available) on the market and designed to make work life easier, better, or more efficient:
- Communication and Collaboration tools like Cisco’s WebEx, enabling users to increase productivity and work remotely
- Microsoft Web Apps allows the user to create, edit, and share their Microsoft Office files – which are hosted in the cloud
- Mozy is an online backup service with a pay-as-you-go model to keep the users’ data intact
- Worldmate will soon power American Express’s Business Travel Blackberry application to provide automatic itinerary synchronization, pop-up flight alerts, and one-click access to American Express Business travel counselors.
These are just a few of the cloud-based applications that are rapidly appearing for business customers. And for service providers, there is tremendous potential to move generate revenue with these types of new cloud-based applications. By subscribing to these applications as services, businesses reduce on-going expenses, and minimize the headache of having to handle the various aspects of the service(s) on their own.
What other cloud-based applications are you deploying to your customers? Why would you recommend them?