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2015 will be a big year for Microsoft and for the small-and-medium businesses who rely on their products. Back in July, 2012, Microsoft announced the end of development of their hugely popular Small Business Server, much to the chagrin of many of the SMB faithful who relied on this stalwart that has long-dominated in companies with fewer than 100 employees.
This year, Windows Server 2003 will be end-of-life, meaning that Microsoft will discontinue support for the platform, leaving behind tech support and security updates. This has left IT managers and Value Added Resellers (VARs) scrambling for solutions to modernize, and do it quickly. However, the array of options can be a confusing mess for a market segment that has yet to make the leap to the cloud for many of its key services.
Microsoft Office 365, the heir apparent for Microsoft loyalists, will likely win over small businesses looking to introduce as little change as possible in the user experience. For those businesses who prioritize user comfort, Office 365 will offer an easy transition provided that SMB doesn’t balk at paying for SaaS (software as a service) subscriptions.
But Microsoft is far from the only game in town. Many SMBs are moving to Google Apps, which offers a competitive suite that many users are now familiar with thanks to the prevalence of Gmail, starting with personal accounts. While the end-user experience is not as polished, Google Apps provide a cost-effective, viable alternative to what’s coming out of Redmond, Washington these days.
Whether your organization is looking at Microsoft, Google or another cloud provider, there are some questions to consider when deciding what to do next.
While this may sound like a philosophical question, it’s really not. There are some very concrete things to consider before making the leap to cloud services. Here are the top 3 things to consider:
Untangle’s NG Firewall is specifically designed for the needs of SMB and can help ensure that your cloud strategy is complete. NG Firewall is a single-appliance solution for ensuring the network security, data privacy and bandwidth management that are mandatory for a successful cloud deployment. Contact us today for more information.