Natalie Davis| Parsippany
The Internet has given the Rolling Stones’ “Get Off My Cloud” new meaning. Whether you use Apple, Microsoft or Google products for your business, you are hearing about the wonders of storing your files, your documents, your business’ important stuff, not on your own computer, but in… the cloud. No, we are not experts on cloud computing, but that hasn’t stopped us from employing it.
Chances are it probably isn’t completely clear to you either—and you may be using the cloud for digital storage as well. According to recent studies, eight out of 10 businesses are already using cloud-based products and solutions, and more than 50 percent of those companies will increase their cloud spending by 10 percent this year.
Thank goodness help exists: To serve the needs of Morris County and Northern New Jersey businesses in search of simple cloud solutions, Parsippany’s MetroMSP, an information technology consultant and service provider, has partnered with TOGLcloud to help local enterprises leverage the power of the cloud.
MetroMSP co-founder Bob Michie says that what Netflix did to the movie rental business is what cloud is doing to the concept of onsite information technology—it has changed how businesses and individuals consume and access information technology. And he says his company, working with TOGLcloud, is uniquely qualified to help businesses navigate this new way to get work done.
Michie was kind enough to answer our spotlight questions and shine light on this new partnership and on life in the cloud.
1. Tell me a little about MetroMSP services in general.
MetroMSP was created to bring enterprise class technology services to small- and medium-sized clients at an affordable price. We function as your IT department and by working closely with the wwners and other stakeholders, we make recommendations on the best solution available to run the business. All clients are different and in fact some are not a good fit for the cloud. Our team has been supporting New Jersey clients for over 10 years. Our clients rely on us to make their computers, phones, printers, and all things digital “just work.” We stand behind our services with a money-back guarantee.
2. In layman’s terms, what’s the cloud about and how is it good for business?
Everyone has a different definition of cloud computing. There is a lot of marketing hype about it is. Some people define cloud as a way to store files at an offsite location like Apple’s iCloud or Dropbox. Others see it as a solution like Microsoft’s Office365 or Google Apps and Gmail. We look at cloud as just another tool to help businesses function by providing best in class technology on demand that works for them. Clients no longer need to be on the server rollercoaster of making capital investments to buy a server, install the server and maintain the server and software licenses. This cycle is then repeated in four years since it’s then time to replace the server hardware and software licenses to the latest version. Our clients no longer need to buy servers and just pay monthly on a per user basis for what they need and use.
In fact, you are probably already experiencing the benefits of cloud computing in some way but hadn’t realized it. Below are a number of clouds computing applications, also called SaaS or “software as a service,” you might be using:vGmail, Hotmail or other free e-mail accounts, Facebook, LinedIn. Twitter and all things Google. If you think about it, almost every single application you use today can be (or already is) being put “in the cloud” where you can access it and pay for it via your browser for a monthly fee or utility pricing. You don’t purchase and install software but instead access it via an Internet browser. This video explains this in further detail.
3. Can you lose all your stuff in the cloud? What assurance is there of TOGL Cloud’s safety and reliability?
Many people don’t feel comfortable having their data in some offsite location. However for most companies the data is safer on the cloud severs than in the office. All TOGL servers that we use for clients are in SAS70 and SSAE16 certified data centers. We like to call them a data bunker. This is a secure location with 24/7 monitoring, biometric authentication for entry, redundant power, redundant Internet and air conditioning. Earlier this month VUDU.COM, the Walmart-owned video streaming service had a data breach. However this was not due to an network or server attack. It was a physical theft of the server hardware from the vudu office. If that data was on cloud hardware it would not have been able be walked out the front door of the office.
Reliability is another matter, Most businesses in the area that purchase a server for their office, which might have redundant power supplies or a mirrored hard drive. TOGL is using enterprise class servers and storage that most if not all small businesses can not afford. The TOGL platform is 100 percent redundant, meaning that they could lose half of all the equipment and still be operational. Having a solution that is always up is one of the major reasons we chose to put our clients on the TOGL platform.
4. What will this partnership mean for Morris County businesses?
This partnership allows businesses in Morris County enterprise class services without the expense of buying and running servers. We are the local reseller and support for the TOGL platform. If there is a problem or request it is handled by us not some call center in a remote location. Since we are local, we will come onsite and sit down quarterly to discuss the clients’ business and jointly develop a plan. It’s IT with a personal touch.
Some of the general benefits to our clients include lower IT costs; the ability to access your desktop and/or applications from anywhere and any device; automated disaster recovery and backup; heavy investments into security, redundancy and failover systems making the system far less likely to go down; a faster, cheaper and easier way to set up new employees; you don’t own the responsibility of having to install, update and maintain infrastructure; and it’s a “greener” technology that will save on power and your electric bill.
5. Why Parsippany?
We have the business in Parsippany because that is where I live. I moved here in 1996 when Toys R Us relocated its computer center to Walsh Drive and we have not looked back. As my son grew I became involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. I served as scoutmaster for Troop 173 in Parsippany for three years, where my son Sean earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012. Since Parsippany is at the crossroads of Interstates 80 and 287, we can easily provide service to the entire county.