If not implemented properly, moving to the cloud can become a costly exercise for any business. Success lies in identifying your key objectives and then utilising and harnessing the offering that best suits your operation.
“The first step,” says Joshua Grunewald, Cloud Hosting manager at SAICOM, “is understanding your motivation, where your pain points are, and what you’re trying to achieve as a business.”
A key aspect is the ability to mitigate those risks and plug the gaps in your IT infrastructure. “If these are clearly defined, then moving to the cloud is not that difficult,” he adds. “The next step is choosing the provider that can offer you the services you require at an acceptable cost.
“Once your cloud strategy is set out, SAICOM is ideally situated to have this conversation with you and guide you on how this cloud strategy can be achieved. We assist you in deciding what can and should be moved, so your business operates more efficiently.
“If you understand your IT workloads and what it is you want to shift, you need to then look at each of the cloud’s native applications in determining the overall cost factor.
“For some businesses, it makes sense to utilise a mixture of public and private cloud, and our aim is to advise customers on how they can get the best of both worlds. SAICOM’s private cloud offers customers flexibility in terms of service and support, which is beneficial for businesses that are not keen on moving everything into a public cloud. The aim is assisting customers in putting their workloads in the place where it will be most beneficial and advantageous to them.”
For this reason, SAICOM launched its AnyCloud offering in the latter half of 2020.
“In essence, it’s a hybrid multi-cloud management portal that gives our customers the ability to make use and take advantage of a hybrid cloud strategy, but managing it through a single pane of glass,” Grunewald says. “An added benefit is that it is backed by SAICOM’s service and support, which in the public cloud space can be expensive and somewhat frustrating.”
The response from customers has been incredibly positive, he adds. “Quite a number of our customers are still running all their IT within their environments and on their hardware systems. So AnyCloud has been quite an eye-opener for them. I have seen customers light up when they see the features and functionality, and the control and level of insight they can achieve within their environment, when some of their workloads are in the cloud as opposed to running on their equipment. This is especially true when they realise they still have the same control over their data, but without the headache of owning the underlying infrastructure.”
One of the biggest benefits of clients understanding the cloud is that their IT staff can now concentrate on growing their businesses as opposed to spending time managing servers and hardware.
“And they also realise that if approached with the right strategy and guidance, they can operate more efficiently because they are utilising the cloud environment to suit their specific business needs,” Grunewald concludes.
Question: How long did it take to develop AnyCloud?
Answer: It has been a shift for SAICOM as a whole; initially, we were very much a voice connectivity business. I have personally been working on it for a few years within the SAICOM business because we wanted to expand our offerings to the marketplace. Adding cloud services has been quite important for us as we diversify our service offerings and become more relevant for the marketplace. During the development of AnyCloud, our existing customers from a voice and connectivity aspect kept asking us if we also offered cloud services, so creating this product has been a natural progression for the company in our growth.
Question: What are the advantages of using AnyCloud?
Answer: AnyCloud offers a wide variety of features and functionalities that can benefit any customer regardless of their size. Along with monitoring services directly through the portal, several automation features can be built into it. So whether you are a small company or a big enterprise, its features will enable you to meet all your relevant cloud needs through one single pane of glass. You could be a business with as few as 1 or 2 servers, requiring some additional functionality and greater insight but with a small team , a development house utilising automation on a large scale, or even a large enterprise with vast amounts of workloads that require monitoring and logging on an individual basis – it meets all of those needs and more.
Question: Was it coincidental that AnyCloud was launched in 2020?
Answer: We had planned to launch in 2020 and the fact that Covid-19 brought digitalisation with companies moving to the cloud with employees working from home was beneficial for us. The pandemic forced businesses to implement their digital transformation policies and cloud strategies and AnyCloud was in the right place at the right time to meet these requirements.
To read more about AnyCloud, go to: https://saicom.io/solutions/anycloud/
Originally published in the March 2021 issue of Brainstorm magazine