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The cloud is now viable for all businesses

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While everyone is talking about cloud services and a wide range of different cloud-based applications are available, the ultimate cloud promise – of being able to run a business entirely in the cloud without the need for IT overheads – is still a futuristic dream. Right?
“Wrong,” says Graeme Victor, CEO of Johannesburg-based ICT solutions company, Du Pont Telecom, which recently helped a JSE-listed investment company launch into the cloud.
The company had moved to new offices and didn’t want the hassle and expense of setting up its entire ICT infrastructure all over again as well as having to secure and maintain it. At the same time, its executives spend considerable time travelling so being able to work from remote locations as easily as if they were at their desks was essential.
“Being tech-savvy, the company had investigated going the cloud route as this would address their mobility requirements while reducing their infrastructure costs,” Victor says.
However, they were concerned that going for an end-to-end cloud solution would be just too difficult as they would have to deal with a range of suppliers who would provide the different cloud solutions they would require. They were also concerned about how they would be able to get all the different solutions to work together.
“DuPont was able to put together an entire cloud solution, integrating all the facets and enabling the company to deal with a single supplier – us,” Victor adds.
The integrated cloud solution implemented for the company covers its requirements for:
* Voice – DuPont has provided an IP PBX which delivers advanced PBX functionality in a scalable and flexible solution. Connection to the global telephone network is made via Neotel’s NeoVoice service.
* Data – uncapped, fast Internet access is provided via Neotel’s NeoBroadband fibre network.
* E-mail – DuPont Telecom’s Hosted Exchange service delivers a robust, remotely hosted, outsourced and fully managed Microsoft Exchange solution that eliminates the capital expense and considerable overhead of installing, upgrading and constantly maintaining an on-site e-mail solution.
* E-mail management – all the software application services as well as the physical network, computing and storage infrastructure required to deliver comprehensive unified e-mail management including long-term e-mail retention, and powerful search facilities is incorporated in the DuPont Telecom Mimecast solution.
* Backup – the DuPont Telecom Online backup desktop solution, which is powered by eVault, provides the company with a low-cost, highly reliable automatic data protection solution. An integrated laptop/desktop backup, recovery and data security solution, it helps the company to control data across its entire mobile workforce.
* Security – the DuPont Telecom managed firewalls solution, which is powered by Fortinet, delivers a comprehensive and high-performance array of security and networking functions including firewall, VPN and traffic shaping, intrusion prevention and load balancing of connectivity links.
* LAN – an innovative approach to building a high-performance wireless LAN that reduces cumbersome RF planning and costly cable backhaul was used to avoid having to run Ethernet wiring to individual WiFi access points in the new offices.
* IT support – onsite and unlimited remote support is provided by DuPont technicians.
“Apart from its desktop and notebook computers, and its accounting system which it did not feel comfortable outsourcing, the company has not had to make a capital investment in any hardware or software. It has also not had to find and recruit any ICT skills as DuPont has become its ICT department.
“It has become a cloud company operating effectively, and at far lower cost than before,” Victor concludes.