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Cloud Applications for SMBs

Hi All,

Hope you all like my last blog regarding “Cloud Solutions will replace On Premise systems”. In this blog  we will see more detail focus on Cloud Adoption in Small to Medium size business and keys areas for SMBs to understand

In Today’s world Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are becoming increasingly important to technology and communications services providers as a means of growing their business. The enterprise market is saturated, highly competitive and very mature with long-term established relationships. In pure number terms, SMBs are prolific and while sales channels and approaches will need to be adapted to reduce the cost per sale, SMBs overall provide a wealth of opportunity, especially as they turn to new technologies for business gain

SMBs that are currently ‘cloudless’ need education on the benefits the cloud could provide. Spill over effects do exist in SMB communities e.g. word of mouth, but service providers need to do much more to create the required change. Service Provider need to educate SMBs on positive impact of cloud  along with issues like Data security and demonstrate their capability to deliver in the cloud

For small businesses with 100 employees or less cloud computing is relevant only insofar as it offers easier, more cost-effective ways to obtain needed IT capabilities that do not require sophisticated in-house IT expertise. Mostly, this is a matter of software and software applications offered as a service (SaaS).

There are basics Cloud Offering to SMBs which are very important and useful for their growth and keep pace in current markets are below

1) Web Hosting: Even the smallest businesses today typically have some sort of web site, hosted somewhere. Yet simple web hosting is certainly a ‘cloud service’ by any reasonable definition

2) Email: Many very small businesses, in addition to having a web site somewhere, still rely on some basic free email service from Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, and so forth or use email accounts provided by their phone or cable company. Email, too, although decades old now, is clearly a cloud service

3) Cloud Business Applications and Services: There are various Cloud applications in the market with pros and cons. SMBs need to choose them based on certain key parameters

a) Be clear about what you really need and can use from Cloud applications

b) Understand what a proposed cloud service can do for you and what its impact will be on your current business

c) Obtain temporary expert technical advice and assistance in evaluating and implementing the product from someone who already has some experience with it.

Google apps for Business, MS 365  and similar products from other vendors are some examples. These combine email and web site services with basic office productivity and collaboration applications. They feature easy-to-use wizards, dashboards, and control panels to simplify set up and management by relatively non-technical users. There is a growing range of applications as services products that are either entirely cloud-based or that combine cloud-based services with cloud access to downloadable software like Adobe Creative Cloud,MS dynamics online, Sales force Sales etc.

4) Use Trial version of Cloud applications:

Finally last but no the list, almost all cloud computing products relevant to small businesses offer trial versions that let you get experience with the product at little or no cost. Use them before committing to full implementation.

There is no better way to determine if they will really work for your small business by actually using it.


Manish Mundra

SAP Cloud Architect

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