Our blog this week takes a look at a common misconception among some SMEs - that their business are so unique that they need specialist software and/or specialist support for it to be effective. However, we here at Virtuoso have learnt through experience that this is often not the case and the following account is a prime example of where the cloud might just be the easiest way to hit your IT infrastructure objectives.
A few years ago we held a roadmap session with a new CIO to discuss what he wanted to achieve for his business. He had a 100-day plan to implement a new CRM system, improve reporting and allow graphical recording in their case management software. In addition to this, there was a compelling need to replace the branch-office telephony as inter-branch calls were costing the organisation a lot of time and money. Overall the organisation had a lot of money to spend but very little time in which to spend it for it to be effective against the company goals.
To support the meeting, some vendor Account Managers had been invited and all had a contribution to make about their latest products. We discussed a new storage infrastructure to accommodate the graphics requirement, how the LAN needed upgrading, how to licence all the changes, what features there were in VMWare and what phone systems had which features. The net result was a roadmap that illustrated a years’ worth of infrastructure upgrades before any of the strategic requirements could be met.
How could he achieve his 100-day plan?
Once the vendors had left the session we recapped the requirement and the infrastructure challenges that all the good ideas from the morning session presented. We looked briefly at what each stage of the change programme would look like in order of priority and which stages could run in parallel to create the right operating environment in the shortest time frame.
At 2pm we asked the question “So if there was a way we could give you all of that by tomorrow morning would you take it?”
He laughed. “How can you do that?” he said.
“With the cloud” we replied. “Within the next hour we can create all of the virtual instances necessary to store all the graphics from your case management software, we can back that up in the cloud so we reduce the load on the network and defer the network upgrade, we can licence it all as you go so you don’t need to commit spend up front to something you might not need. We can give you a phone system with 5 extensions to test in the next hour. We can arrange a free-trial of CRM software and use some of the tools you have in Office365 to create the analytics and dashboards you need by tomorrow night”.
He looked stunned.
His parting comment? “I came here for some ideas and I’m leaving with a strategy”
As this example demonstrates, the cloud is unbeatable at providing digital infrastructure solutions for small businesses in the shortest possible time-frame. At Virtuoso, we appreciate time is money and therefore our expertise for cloud-based systems could be just what you need to get your IT strategy off the ground in a timely manner.
If you would like to speak with a digital infrastructure expert that understands the needs of cloud solutions for business then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our switchboard on 020 3326 3900