Putting the cloud to work for your organization. A buyers guide to cloud solutions.

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1 Putting the cloud to work for your organization. A buyers guide to cloud solutions.

2 What s in this guide for you? If you re thinking about bringing the cloud into your business but aren t sure where to start, this guide will help you focus on some of the decisions you need to make and questions you ll want to ask. To begin, how do you know if the cloud might be right for your organization? It depends on your needs. Are you looking to: Adjust to changing business requirements quickly? Establish predictable expenses and leverage advanced communications technology without major capital investment? Maximize application and network uptime, availability and redundancy? Focus on your core business goals instead of daily IT administration? Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of IT resource management and support? If you answered yes to any of these, you may want to consider cloud solutions. Page 2

3 Understanding the cloud. Despite all the information available, it can still be a challenge to understand exactly what the cloud is and what it can do for your business. One of the first things to know about the cloud is that it s not a product. It s a way of delivering and consuming everything from infrastructure and software to communication solutions. What makes the cloud attractive is that it lets you minimize your investments in in-house information and communication technologies while still accessing all the computing power, capacity, services and applications you need. With many cloud services, instead of investing in excess infrastructure and ongoing maintenance and support, you pay only for the services you use. You can often add or subtract computing resources more quickly than you could if you had to change your own internal IT infrastructure or software. All of this has the potential with the right partner to transform the way you do business. So how might the cloud work for you? All the computing power you could want. The cloud lets you access exactly the computing power you need from a dedicated server over the long haul or a high volume of servers for a short time. In 2012, $5,000 could provide access to a single server for three years, or to 26,280 servers for an hour. The flexibility to choose is yours. Page 3

4 Different delivery model options for different needs. The term cloud can mean different things in different contexts, but common to every definition is the cloud s ability to deliver services, solutions and applications over a scalable, pay-per-use model. That being said, not every type of cloud delivers those services in the same way. In general, there are three cloud delivery model options to choose from: Private cloud A private cloud is exclusive to a single organization, either in that organization s own data centre or in a service provider s data centre. This makes it highly flexible, as it can be adapted to meet that organization s specific needs. However, it can also be more expensive than other alternatives. Because a single organization pays for the entire service, it is also responsible for investing in any required technology and infrastructure upgrades. Public cloud Public clouds are delivered by service providers and shared by multiple clients and users. This generally makes them more economical than private clouds. The trade-off, however, is that because public clouds must provide a base level of functionality, not all features can be customized to meet a single user s specific goals and objectives. Hybrid cloud A hybrid cloud combines the public and private cloud delivery models. For example, an organization might use a private cloud for predictable applications but tap into a public cloud to cope with usage spikes or seasonal increases. Page 4

5 Three types of cloud services. Public, private and hybrid clouds are delivery models. But what exactly do they deliver? Cloud services can be grouped into three general categories, each defined by the resources they offer to their users. These services are: Software as a Service (SaaS) Applications and programs: , communication, customer relationship management (CRM) and other programs and applications are hosted in the cloud and delivered to desktops and devices. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Computing power and storage: Extensive computing power and data storage are accessible through virtual server farms, making it possible to instantly address spikes in resource demand without having to scale up physical infrastructure. Platform as a Service (PaaS) Platform development: By providing access to a complete application development program, PaaS allows organizations to operate their own systems and software over a provider s computing platform. When choosing a cloud delivery model and service for your organization, it is important to evaluate each approach against your specific requirements for security, performance, availability and cost. At the same time, be sure to remember that one of the cloud s key benefits is its flexibility meaning you have the ability to mix and match delivery models and services to meet your organization s unique needs. Page 5

6 Benefits of the cloud. Depending on the cloud delivery model you choose and how you utilize your IT resources, the cloud can help you: Gain agility. The cloud is elastic, meaning you can add or subtract capacity very quickly through on-demand provisioning. Being able to scale up or down to adapt to changing business needs means you have access to the computing power and resources you need, exactly when you need them. Lower IT costs. In a public cloud scenario, you use a service provider s infrastructure instead of building and maintaining your own. Because you pay only for the services you use, you can achieve predictable operating expenses. With a private cloud, there is typically some infrastructure investment required on your part but you can also achieve economies of scale by centralizing and sharing computing resources throughout your organization. Access industry-leading technologies and skills. Top cloud providers maintain the necessary computing resources, infrastructure and skills to deliver the services you need, allowing your team to focus on its core business activities and objectives. Reduce downtime. A top-tier service provider will ensure you always benefit from the latest technologies, tools and processes optimizing service and keeping downtime to a minimum with guaranteed service level agreements (SLAs). Page 6

7 When does the cloud make sense? Cloud services offer the greatest benefits for organizations in the following situations: Aging server or application environments. As equipment ages, it can become increasingly costly and challenging to support. With cloud services, the service provider is responsible for keeping technology up to date: you as the customer simply access the latest capabilities as they become available. High growth. If your business is expanding at a rapid rate, the flexibility of cloud can help you quickly scale capacity to meet growing demand. On/off operations. If you need additional capacity on a temporary basis for example, to support research and development, batch processing, or data analytics the cloud can be an economical option by allowing you to pay only for the resources you need (and only for the amount of time you need them). Recurring or irregular business demand. If your business is seasonal or experiences predictable cycles, the cloud lets you tap into IT infrastructure when demand increases instead of making large capital investments that might sit unused for significant and costly portions of time. Similarly, if special events or promotions lead to temporarily high resource requirements, the cloud can help you accommodate spikes while minimizing equipment costs and overage charges. Flexible backups. If you have a private cloud but need flexibility to back up your data and servers, you can use the public cloud to provide the necessary redundancy. This gives you the power of both models in a hybrid solution that cost-effectively meets your business needs. Page 7

8 Choosing a cloud service provider. If you decide to integrate cloud services into your business, it is important to pick the right service provider. They ll be handling the data and applications you depend on so you ll want to be sure they have the right network, expertise and technology to effectively meets your needs. Key considerations when selecting a cloud provider include: Network and scope of offering Does the provider have both data hosting facilities and its own network for delivering cloud services, or is connectivity handled by a third party? If a third party is involved, who is accountable for network performance as it relates to the cloud service? Location Where will your data be stored in Canada or elsewhere? Does your organization have requirements for data to stay within the country? Security What are the provider s credentials and certifications? While there are currently no formal security standards for cloud services, proactive cloud providers are offering relevant certifications such as Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) 5970 compliance. Also find out how your data will be accessed for example, by public Internet or a private virtual private network and what redundancy and disaster recovery methods the provider has in place. Latency Applications like voice and video are sensitive to network latency. What are the provider s quality of service (QoS) and connection guarantees? Support and reporting Does the provider offer readily accessible 24/7 customer support and access to reports on their cloud service? Service level agreements Ensure the provider s SLAs meet your requirements, taking into consideration the network, the infrastructure and any self-serve portals - for end to end performance. Connectivity is key. Connectivity becomes more, not less, important in the cloud model. Any cloud-based application or solution is only as reliable and stable as its underlying connectivity. Source: Telcos As Cloud Rainmakers Dan Bieler, Forrester Research Inc., March, 2012 Page 8

9 Cloud solutions from Bell. Bell has implemented a wide variety of cloud-based deployments across the country for organizations of all sizes. We have the expertise, network and infrastructure to deliver solutions that meet your needs, including: Cloud unified communications solutions. Unified communications is a set of processes, applications and tools that helps your teams collaborate quickly and productively. Bell offers a number of cloud unified communications solutions including voice over IP (VoIP), video bridging, web and audio conferencing, and business-class . Cloud data centre solutions. Our cloud data centre solutions have the capacity to support a wide range of applications and workloads from dependable data backups to enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management solutions. Our cloud data centre solutions include virtual data centres, content delivery networks and infrastructure as a service, as well as expert professional services to support you from planning through to implementation. Cloud contact centre solutions. Our cloud contact centre solutions put a wide range of advanced technology and tools at your disposal without requiring a large investment in hardware or software. Bell offers an on-demand contact centre solution for organizations with up to 100 agents. We also offer a fully hosted, customizable solution for contact centres with more than 70 agents. Cloud security solutions. Our team of experienced and accredited security professionals has developed a wide range of powerful cloud-based security tools to protect your infrastructure and data. Cloud security solutions from Bell include our Managed Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection service that safeguards your data from DDoS attacks before they reach your organization, and our Managed Network Security for Content service that protects your and data from viruses, malware, spam, phishing and more. Page 9

10 Why choose Bell? Bell has extensive practical experience delivering services in the cloud, from SmartTouch voice services to web-based . Our cloud portfolio extends from unified communications and cloud-based security to data centres, contact centres and professional services. With Bell as your cloud provider, you can count on: Improved IT agility that allows you to quickly scale capacity to meet demand Lower IT costs from paying only for the services you use, reducing your need to invest in IT infrastructure Ongoing access to the latest technology with all upgrades and maintenance taken care of by our team Enterprise-grade security, performance and availability for your mission-critical applications Page 10

11 About Bell. Businesses that demand secure, scalable, reliable data centre hosting choose Bell. We have the infrastructure and experience to help you cost-effectively host, manage and protect your data and mission-critical applications. Hundreds of business customers, representing almost every industry, rely on Bell s ability to deliver uncompromising data centre services. Operating Canada s largest voice, data and wireless network, we support 80 percent of all network traffic in the country, reaching 99 percent of businesses and people in Canada. Every year we invest more than $3 billion in our network to make it even better, offering unparalleled performance, security and reliability from coast to coast to keep your business connected and communicating. Bell s team of certified professionals works with your organization to design, build and implement your data centre solution. For more information about our cloud solutions, request to be contacted by your Bell representative or explore the links below: See inside a Bell data centre A virtual tour of our state-of-the-art facilities Bell Cloud services Explore the many cloud-based services that Bell has to offer Get news and insights on the latest technologies by subscribing to the Bell business blog: Staying secure in the cloud A white paper focusing on cloud security solutions The information contained herein is proprietary to Bell and may not be used, reproduced or disclosed to others except as specifically permitted in writing by the originator of the information. The recipient of this information, by its retention and use, agrees to protect it from any loss, theft or compromise. Page 11

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