Office 365 | Google Apps | Cloud Application Specialists | THE IT GUYS

CLOUD APPLICATIONS

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Microsoft Office 365 gives you access to the applications you’ve used throughout your working life: MS Office, MS Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. But you also get added features including instant messaging, SkyDrive (MS’ dropbox equivalent), Sharepoint and website publishing capabilities. With Office 365, you can also have a desktop version of apps that syncs your data into the cloud, for later access via a web app in the browser.

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google apps for business - cloud business applications

Google Apps were an early pioneer of SaaS productivity tools. Users may use Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentation software in the browser and across mobile devices. This means that Google Apps can be used on any operating system (Mac, Windows, Linux) with a compatible browser. This is ideal for organisations where users bring their own devices to work (e.g. NGO and Non Profits where the majority of work is conducted by volunteers).

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What Are Cloud Applications?

Cloud apps, such as Office 365, Google Apps or Salesforce.com, are often referred to as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This is to say that they are applications which are delivered on demand to users via an internet connection. Before SaaS, we just purchased a CD and manually installed a programme like Microsoft Office, and entered a product key.

These apps are often accessed in the browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, FireFox or Safari being the main ones).

Whilst this is an area where acronyms can run wild – the philosophy is simple. It’s software on demand. Thus they are often paid for on a monthly basis, rather than a once off or annual payment. Here’s a couple of the terms used when discussing SaaS:

Cloud Applications – Cloud is the name for any kind of distributed computing platform (reportedly Google owns and operates many millions of servers to run their cloud applications)

Web Services – Because the services are often accessed via a browser with an internet connection

Hosted Software – This means the software, and often processing, is conducted elsewhere on the servers of the service provider

Are Cloud Apps Right For Your Business

Cloud apps meet the needs of most businesses in Switzerland, but not all.

Since the data and processing happens off of your premise, businesses must be sure that they remain compliant with relevant data protection laws.

If you are in the financial services industry in particular, you should also be diligent in checking with your own clients if they are happy for data concerning them to be stored outside of Switzerland. Both Microsoft and Google store data all around the world, and at any point it is likely that your data could be situated in the United States.

In the case of companies whose data must remain in Switzerland, we can help you with hosted solutions that ensure that your data stays exactly where you need it to. If that’s you, please speak with us here.