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5 Features to Seek Out in a Cloud Solutions Provider

Ready to move to the cloud? Or has your current provider not lived up to expectations? Cloud solutions offer businesses many benefits. With cloud adoption, you’ll enjoy more robust security and better accessibility of your data.

But not all cloud products are the same. There are certain features you should be seeking out in a cloud solutions provider. So, before you make your selection, consider these fundamental elements.

What are Cloud Solutions?

Before we dive into the features that you’ll want in a cloud solutions provider, it’s important to understand how the cloud works. Cloud solutions are computer networks, storage, and applications that are accessed via the internet. All your computing needs are delivered virtually. There is no need for on-site servers. It’s enabled many businesses to shift their technology strategies, allowing them to reduce costs, scale without constraints, improve reliability, and enhance performance.

There are different types of cloud solutions, with most companies using a third-party public cloud provider. But don’t let the word “public” deceive you. These cloud structures have strong security protocols, and you no longer have to manage hardware, software, or infrastructure. You simply need an internet connection.

Now, let’s review the most important features you should look for when cloud provider shopping.

1. Exchange Email in the Cloud

Moving Exchange email to the cloud improves storage and still allows you the ability to archive email. With email, calendars, and contacts in the cloud, your employees can work from anywhere while still being secure. Full integration and mobility are yours, ensuring that you can be agile whenever necessary.

Archiving email is a must-have for email in the cloud. While there are the immediate benefits of freeing up storage, archiving email delivers even more advantages. It offers preservation, protection, and restoration. If someone accidentally deletes an email that should not have been, then it’s not lost and can still be retrieved.

2. Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCaaS)

If you are still using legacy phone systems that tie employees to their desks, it’s time to cut the wires. With a cloud-based UCaaS platform, users can take phone calls no matter where they are. This equates to higher productivity. With voice in the cloud, all communication tools—mobile and desktop phones along with computers—live in the same space.

This type of convenience is made possible with VoIP phones, which uses the internet to make calls versus traditional phone lines. You can also roll in other features to your cloud solutions like video conferencing. With conferencing functionality, you can host webinars, screen share with colleagues, and avoid excessive travel.

3. Backup and File Sharing

How do you currently backup your files? And how often? The reality is that many SMBs may not have a solution for this that meets their needs. Using the cloud removes the worry. Files are automatically backed up securely. With automatic syncing, your data will always be up to date.

Files can also be shared amongst your users for easy collaboration. You’ll also be able to access those files from any web browser, offering true flexibility.

Along with file sharing, you’ll have file versioning support. When changes are made to a shared file, it’s not overwritten. Each version is still available so that you can see the history of the file’s changes. With file versioning, you can also see which user made specific changes.

4. Advanced Security and File Encryption

One of the biggest misconceptions about the cloud is that it’s less secure than on-premise solutions. Gartner experts have documented that there is no correlation between security failures and the use of the private cloud with multi-tenancy, i.e. when businesses share space with others.

The main thing to be mindful of when it comes to security is if the provider submits to regular SOC 3 Security and Availability testing. With this type of level of scrutiny, you can be assured that security of your network and files is of the highest caliber.

5. One Provider for All Your Cloud Needs

Finally, one of the most significant features to seek out for cloud solutions is a one-stop-shop provider. Ideally, you’d have access to one central control panel that allows you to administer all services, devices, and users. With one dashboard, it’s much easier to manage and use cloud services. Further, getting IT services from a single source delivers efficiencies with one login, password, bill, and support channel.

When deciding on a cloud solutions provider, keep these key features in mind when comparing systems. You’ll find that Intermedia has these and more. Find out more about our cloud solutions today.

About Darcy Mekis