Cloud Computing and Microsoft CRM Online
The corporate world has been transitioning to the cloud since 2009, which causes people to ask a pertinent question, “What exactly is cloud computing, and what does it mean for my business?”
Simply stated, the “cloud” is an internet based network. Cloud computing enables consumers with different platforms (PaaS), software (Saas), data access (hosted on remote virtual servers), and storage services (online backup) via the Web instead of a traditional devoted operating system.
Cloud storage has been around for decades… Every time you send an email or attachment, you are storing personal and business information in a remote network. Accessing webmail, through hosted sites like Gmail, Yahoo!, and Hotmail, from multiple locations is considered a form of cloud computing. Uploading digital pictures and movies on sites such as Flickr and Photobucket means you’re hosting images in the cloud. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, are examples of high scaled cloud based applications users can personalize and constantly update. Common examples of major platforms-as-a-service are Amazon, Google, MS, and Apple.
The Cloud allows computing on a global scale. No longer is your music, media, data, and documents tied to a particular computer at a specific location. In the business world, computing in the cloud allows for incredible flexibility and bottom-line savings as it is economical in terms of both cost and customer hardware resources.
Your company has access to its data through web-native software applications, aka, Software-as-a-service (SaaS), which allows business applications to be centrally hosted by a third party. Your company no longer has to build their own IT infrastructure in order to host databases or software and you can access your data from virtually any Web connection, though any computer or web-enabled device, just by logging into your account.
There are other added benefits to SaaS. Because cloud services are web-based, most work on multiple platforms, including Linux, Macintosh, and Windows computers. The company no longer has the responsibility of running and maintaining demanding applications because the vendors manage scalability and consistently upgrade the software. On-demand software services provided by the vendors reduces the need of on-premise management, and allows for considerable cost savings due to reduced needs for specialized staffing, power consumption, and expensive hardware.
SaaS applications like Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Customer relationship management) also offer features that let its users collaborate, comment on tasks and plans, and share data & documents from any location. Microsoft has a key competitive advantage because almost everyone is familiar with MS program management tools.