Cloud Computing Levels the Playing Field for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses

At one time, the line between small and large businesses was an easy one to draw. Large businesses had the capital to fully staff an office, providing a wide range of services to its clients. Small businesses were forced to focus on building business slowly, doing business via one-on-one meetings while lacking the technology to offer services clients of larger companies enjoyed.

The Cloud promises to change all of that. With companies that offer everything from full-service telephone systems for companies from one to one hundred thousand employees to web-hosted e-mail that allows instant access to messages from anywhere, the Cloud has made it easy for small companies to compete with large corporations for customers.

Xerox’s recent announcement about its Cloud service is a prime example of this. The service, targeted to small and mid-sized businesses, gives small businesses the same shot as Xerox has previously given big businesses by offering low prices. The initial roll-out of Xerox’s Cloud involves two facets: backup and recovery and infrastructure as a service. Both services allow businesses to save data to the Cloud without sacrificing data integrity or security.

How does this help small businesses? Large corporations like Xerox can provide smaller businesses the power of large servers and the best IT personnel available. To provide this kind of service on-site, a business would be required to purchase an expensive server and hire personnel to manage it, in addition to purchasing operating system and antivirus protection software. Most small businesses simply cannot afford to employ large-company level technology.

For Xerox, Cloud services began a full year ago when it partnered with Cisco Systems to help achieve Xerox’s mission to reach out to the small and mid-sized businesses. Part of Xerox’s mission in partnering with Cisco Systems is to provide services like mobile printing while reducing businesses’ overall operating costs.

The new Xerox Cloud services will be sold through Xerox and Cisco Systems resellers and will be optimized to work with a variety of operating systems. Xerox strives to keep in mind the diverse needs of small to mid-sized businesses, with attempts to incorporate support for a variety of legacy systems, databases, and other specialized software. By working with network security leader Cisco Systems, Xerox has been able to develop a five-location data center operation with state-of-the-art security to protect businesses’ data.

Best of all, Xerox Cloud services are available at a price customized for the budgets of smaller businesses. Companies aren’t bound to a long-term contract and pay only for the services they use, since Xerox acknowledges not all business will need all its services. Should you ever need something restored from backup, Xerox states it will provide it within twenty-four be back in place within twenty-four hours of your request.

For small businesses looking to compete in today’s market, Cloud-based services are an inexpensive, high-concept alternative. Xerox Cloud services addresses the needs of smaller businesses, acknowledging that these services can help them stay competitive and provide top-quality services to customers.

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

  • http://twitter.com/btviewpoint BT Viewpoint

    Great article. Further to this, Cloud Services were identified as a key element in Gartner’s 10 steps to cut IT costs by up to 25%. Read more here: http://wp.me/pVLxy-1C3

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      Thanks BT! all the information we can use the better!

    • http://www.facebook.com/tony.bradley Tony Bradley

       Great information BT. I also saw an article recently that points out that the cloud doesn’t just cut IT costs for SMBs, it levels the playing field and gives them enterprise class tools to go head to head with larger competitors: http://www.pcworld.com/article/247792/think_bigger.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.bradley Tony Bradley

    I agree completely. A small business is still a business. It has the same needs and requirements as larger rivals, and it needs similar tools and capabilities to complete. The problem is that SMBs lack the IT skills and resources necessary. As this post (http://www.pcworld.com/article/247787/the_noit_guide_to_business_security.html) points out, though, when an SMB employs cloud-based tools and services they, in essence, get the whole IT department thrown in. It is definitely a cost-effective means of leveling the playing field.

  • Anonymous

    Stephanie, I’d also add that cloud-based solutions not only enable SMBs to do more with less, but they also foster innovation. SMBs that are unafraid to look critically at how they do things and see if there’s a better way can gain an edge over competitors. One of my colleagues at Symantec recently blogged about how cloud innovation helps companies evolve; if you’re interested check out the post: http://bit.ly/yPvRF3

    Chris HalconSymantec