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Cloud Computing - General Questions

What is Cloud Computing?

Imagine everything your company does with a computer - all of your applications, company data, and emails now brought to you with lightning speed from a single, secure, managed data center. All you have to do is simply login (from anywhere on the web) and you're ready to start working.

How does it work?

We operate a secure data center where we run all of your applications in a Windows Server environment. The data center is filled with state-of-the-art servers, storage technology, and network equipment. It looks like the computer room of a Fortune 100 company. We provide all of this computing power to our customers with a simple login. Our customers just launch a browser and login with their secure username and password, and all of their applications and files are provided to them within the browser window. It's simple, easy, and very dependable. Some even say its cool. You can login from the office, from home, from your hotel, or even from your Wi-Fi connected laptop when you're sitting at your favorite coffee bar.

What desktop computers and browsers do you support?

OngoingOperations works on almost any type of computer. The recommended environment is a PC running Internet Explorer, but OngoingOperations runs smoothly on an Apple or Unix machine, and we have clients using Firefox and Safari.

What applications does OngoingOperations offer?

Each customer gets a Windows environment with the following standard applications:

  • Microsoft® Office Standard (Word, Excel, & PowerPoint)
  • Microsoft Outlook with Exchange Email
  • Internet Explorer

Other applications are up to you. If it runs on Windows, chances are we can provide it. And if you have a Mac and need to run PC applications, we can do that too.

Our clients use:

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • CRM
  • Microsoft Office Professional (with Access, Publisher, InfoPath)
  • Microsoft Project
  • MAS-90
  • Microsoft Dynamics – Great Plains or Solomon
  • Office Communicator
  • Outbound Fax Softwarequestions
  • QuickBooks or Microsoft Small Business Accounting
  • SQL

Just let us know what you need. We'll take it from there.

Is it green?

Our customers are able to get twice the useful life of their old desk-tops. New workstations can be smaller and more efficient or even terminals with no moving parts, low power consumption and long life expectancies. We use less hardware than traditional solutions which means consuming fewer resources and generating less waste. Not to mention that cloud computing solutions requires significantly less power than traditional in-house solutions.

Can we eliminate our desktop support with OngoingOperations?

OngoingOperations significantly reduces the need for desktop support, but doesn't eliminate it entirely. Most of our clients realize a 70% to 90% reduction in desktop support. Because OngoingOperations servers are doing most of the work, your desktop doesn't have to work so hard. All you need to do is launch a browser. Support will be needed to install new systems if you hire a new employee, to deal with printer issues, and to maintain your local virus protection. So some desktop support will be needed, but much less than you'd need without OngoingOperations.

What happens if my Internet connection goes down?

A reliable Internet connection is an important prerequisite for the OngoingOperations service. But now and then these services go down, and when they do, the connection to your OngoingOperations session will be interrupted. Remember, any Internet connection will do. If the T1 in your office is down but your neighbor's is still up, you can ask to borrow one of their PCs and log back in. Your session will be there waiting for you to finish the email or anything else you were working on. You can also go to any Wi-Fi hotspot with your laptop or to an Internet café and login there. In most cases, T1s are back up fairly quickly, which is why we recommend this type of circuit for customers with five or more users.

Can I work offline?

Many of our clients are highly mobile and need to work offline. For example, sales reps or road warriors who travel frequently often have a locally installed version of Microsoft Office on their laptop. Before a flight, they simply copy a sales presentation or spreadsheet from the OngoingOperations environment to their laptop, and then continue to work on it while on the plane. We also offer our mobile users Outlook synchronization so that their OngoingOperations Outlook and the Outlook installed on their local computer are in sync. We also provide Blackberry Enterprise and Good Mobile Messaging services. These services synchronize your Exchange email, contacts, and calendar with your iPhone Blackberry, or Windows or Palm-based mobile device in real time so that you are always up-to-date.

How much bandwidth do I need?

The bandwidth of your Internet connection isn't as important as the type. For businesses with five or more users, we recommend a T1. DSL and cable modems just don't provide the same reliability and service levels as a T1. We have partners who can help you find the best connectivity option in your area and even help you negotiate the best price. DSL works fine for home users or for very small businesses. OngoingOperations actually uses a very modest amount of bandwidth. Bandwidth will vary depending on the applications you are using, but many of our customers average about 64k per user. Downloading files or graphic-intensive applications can increase this number, but the technology we use is highly network efficient.

What connection speeds can we expect from OngoingOperations' facility

The OngoingOperations data center has multiple fiber optic connections to the Internet from multiple carriers. Our customers have access to sustained connection speeds of 10 Megabits per second with bursts up to 50 Megabits. So when you need to transfer a file, you won't be waiting very long.

Can OngoingOperations help manage my company's IT Compliance requirements?

Yes, whether it's Sarbanes Oxley, FDIC, SEC or HIPPA OngoingOperations will work with you to address all of your IT Compliance requirements and we'll save you money doing so year after year.

Set-up Questions

What operating system does OngoingOperations provide?

OngoingOperations looks just like Windows XP.

Can OngoingOperations facilitate a fax server?

Yes, with OngoingOperations you can have the ability to fax from the network.

Will I need to continue to renew my existing software licenses?

With OngoingOperations you will no longer need to license the software we provide such as Microsoft Office, Exchange, SQL, and QuickBooks. If you have proprietary software specific to your business, just let us know what it is and we can help you determine whether you'll need to maintain those licenses or not.

Does OngoingOperations provide spam protection?

Yes, OngoingOperations provides some of the best spam filtering and virus protection in the industry and it's included with all of our Exchange, Professional and Small Business packages.

Can I add or subtract users and/or email accounts as needed?

Yes, if the number of users change just let us know and we can make that adjustment to your account. You can also add any of our additional options like mobile synchronization service or additional applications at any time.

Does OngoingOperations have written instructions on how to configure mobile devices and/or local email clients with the OngoingOperations service?

Yes, you can obtain step by step instructions online to configuring your mobile device and local e-mail. If you need additional assistance please feel free to contact our tech support at 877-CLOUD-02.

Can I hide folders/directories/applications from users who shouldn't have access to them?

Yes, OngoingOperations will configure user access permissions with the direction of management. You have complete control over what files users have access to.

Do I need to reconfigure my workstations to use OngoingOperations?

No, there is no major configuration needed on your workstations. You just need to download a small client to your desktop. Each user can also create a shortcut on their desktop to the cloudworks login for their convenience.

Does OngoingOperations set the user passwords?

No, OngoingOperations gives each user a first time login password and the user will be prompted to change and choose their own password at their first login. You can select from several security levels that will determine how complex your passwords must be. But they are always private and should never be shared with anyone.

Will OngoingOperations handle the purchasing of domain names?

Yes, if your company purchases a Professional or Small Business package, domain names are provided by OngoingOperations.