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The Peer-to-Peer blog is a forum for Channel Partners readers with the goal of stimulating discussion among partners about important issues impacting their business. The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Channel Partners editors or publishers. If you are interested in submitting a blog, please contact Managing Editor Buffy Naylor, bnaylor@vpico.com.

It's In the Cloud

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By David Byrd

As I walked the floor of IT EXPO this week, it was almost overwhelming to see the number of cloud-based solutions. The applications, tools, partners and value propositions have become stronger. Alliances between competitors are forming to promote cloud-based solutions, APIs and standards. It is nearly inevitable that a company will implement a major business solution in the cloud over the next few years.

Most businesses use a cloud solution today with email as the most common. Most also use a cloud solution for social media, networking, offsite data storage, server and PC backups, or in this case, blogging. However, before more mission critical solutions move to the cloud, service providers must include protections for privacy, fraud, hacking and other significant concerns involving IP technology. Moreover, it is important to evaluate how the infrastructure supporting the service has been architected.

The minimum requirement includes geographically dispersed failover servers. Mission critical applications must remain available during a server failure or natural disaster. By the way, the best way for any business to survive such an event is to incorporate the capabilities of a qualified cloud service provider into their IT strategy/implementation.

It is important for our channel partners and businesses to invest time to understand these new capabilities and how they can provide benefits to improve productivity and profits. Moving to the cloud reduces capital expenditures, expands the availability of business support systems, accelerates the time to deployment and improves the return on investment. Moving to the cloud also improves cash flow management with a predictable monthly cost for services, which is very important for many businesses and organizations.

The cloud is more than hosted communications. It is rapidly becoming a way of doing business. Service providers, such as ANPI, are building the infrastructure and solutions to support this next generation of IP communications and computing.

David Byrd is chief marketing officer and executive vice president of channel sales for ANPI ZONE . He previously spent five years as vice president of marketing and sales for Broadvox and before that was vice president of channels and alliances for Eftia and Telcordia.

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