The consumer space is already crowded with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and services such as Dropbox. But it’s the same story in the SMB and Enterprise markets. Those same consumer-centric solutions are muscling into the IT department with offerings like Dropbox for Teams, joining the war with enterprise-focused brands such as Egnyte.
On top of this complexity, picking the right cloud solution for a business can have far greater consequences versus picking where a consumer stores his or her personal data. This is your business on the line, so finding the best solution is key.
The good news is, with the proper framework and upfront analysis, you can simplify the task of selecting a cloud service provider. To get the most clarity, IT departments should break down their decision into five key areas.
Functionality – The features make or break a cloud solution, particularly in the enterprise space. Key questions include: which users can store, save, access which type of files; limits on file size; customizations; synchronization and version control.
Security – It’s scary putting data outside your firewall, so it’s kept in good hands. What security features do you need to feel confident? Password protection, encryption and support for SSO should all be part of the offering. Additionally, granularity of control allows IT to keep sensitive files accessible only to the right users.
Mobile Access – You want to make sure your solution delivers on the promise of a mobile workforce. Which devices are supported? Do they have a mobile app? Does your off-site team have the access it needs to do the job?
Ease of Use – You will be using it often, so your cloud solution needs to be intuitive and straightforward. The service’s interface and tools should be easy to navigate and convenient to use.
Help & Support – You need to have quick and helpful support when you need it to get the most from your solution. This includes technical assistance by telephone, email and live chat, as well as a knowledgebase and user forums.
To give an idea of how using this framework would play out, lets use the example of Egnyte Hybrid Cloud Storage an enterprise-level solution Softchoice offers that is unique in its seamless integration with NetApp’s unified storage.
Egnyte boasts an expansive feature set tailored for businesses, such as ability to store any type of file, virtually no limitations on file size and scalability for thousands of simultaneous users. Egnyte also lets you customize the interface with your brand logo, color scheme and your own domain.
Egnyte has stringent security measures to safeguard your data. All file transmissions are encrypted using 256-bit AES over SSL. And all users are authenticated with a username and password. As an administrator, you retain full control over access rights of all users and guests that you share data with. Plus, they also offer a private deployment option which enables remote VPN-less file access directly from on-premise storage.
Functional mobile access
With a rich web interface as well as custom apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile devices, Egnyte provides seamless off site access. From anywhere, users can edit files, rather than just simply view them.
Easy to use interface
Egnyte’s interface is clean and professional. Users will feel comfortable right away, and there are plenty of in-app tutorials and tips to help you learn as you go.
Help and Support
Aside from the tutorials, Egnyte also provides an exhaustive series of how-to videos on its Youtube channel, and direct links to its online helpdesk for individual support. Egnyte also offers an easy to navigate knowledgebase and user forums.
As a final point, it’s clear that picking the right storage solution is both difficult and important. But it can be just as challenging to plan your project holistically. In other words, how will your storage upgrade affect the rest of your data center?
Softchoice offers non-biased, expert advice to help you do just that. Check out this funded Storage Techcheck to see if an assessment from Softchoice can help you make the right decisions, the first time.