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February 01, 2012

Xerox Rolls Out Expanded Cloud Services for SMBs

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

With small to medium-sized businesses moving faster toward the cloud than enterprises are, Xerox Corp. is expanding its cloud services offering to SMBs, emphasizing security for applications, data and IT platforms.

While the perception that cloud computing is intended for large enterprises, managing IT operations in the cloud is often a more affordable option for SMBs than on-premise operations, according to Ken Stephens, senior vice president of Xerox Cloud Services. 

“Cloud technology is often presented as a complex, ‘big company’ infrastructure solution.  But, in fact, managing IT operations in the ‘cloud’ is just as relevant and affordable for smaller companies and can be even more impactful,” Stephens said. “Expanding Xerox’s IaaS and Backup and Recovery services to SMBs is the next step toward offering a full suite of business cloud services that SMBs can access on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model.”

Xerox said its business cloud services “ensure that a company’s applications, data and IT platforms are secure. These services also manage workload demand and are priced to serve SMBs that have annual revenue of $10 million to $250 million,” according to a company statement.

The new suite of cloud services from Xerox will be sold through Xerox’s value-added resellers (VARs) and include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for midrange and Intel (News - Alert) systems; cloud backup; and disaster recovery services, company officials said.

The company’s cloud services sales efforts to SMBs through VARs is a “smart move,” especially in the growing cloud space, according to Ben Trowbridge, CEO at Alsbridge, a global advisory firm. 

“It’s a logical extension of their longstanding enterprise services, with more opportunities to sell additional Xerox products and services relevant to SMBs,” Alsbridge said.

The new services include cloud IaaS for midrange and Intel systems and cloud backup and disaster recovery service.

Xerox officials pointed out that many cloud providers – for enterprises or SMBs – do not support multiple operating systems, databases, legacy applications and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

“The Xerox Cloud IaaS meets the conflicting demands of various operating models,” according to the statement.

Xerox cloud services are delivered via five global data centers that house multi-tenant technologies and virtualized LANs and IaaS is quickly installed and ready to use with an on-demand “click and pick” provisioning process.

“No matter the size, scope or location of a company, there’s a common denominator: how to manage costs and risks. Xerox delivers a utility model approach, intense security controls, systems and data redundancy, even a customized company-wide disaster recovery plan,” added Stephens.

Microsoft (News - Alert) Corp.’s global “SMB Cloud Adoption Study 2011” investigated how cloud computing will impact small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the next three years. According to the research, 39 percent of SMBs expect to be paying for one or more cloud services within three years, an increase of 34 percent from the current 29 percent. It also finds that the number of cloud services SMBs pay for will nearly double in most countries over the next three years.

Although cloud adoption among SMBs will be gradual, smaller businesses will continue to operate in a hybrid model with an increasing blend between off-premises and traditional on-premises infrastructure, for the foreseeable future, according to Marco Limena, vice president, Business Channels, Worldwide Communications Sector at Microsoft.

Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend the Cloud Communications Expo, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East 2012, happening NOW, in Miami, FL. The Cloud Communications Expo will address the growing need of businesses to integrate and leverage cloud based communications applications, process enhancement techniques, and network based communications interfaces and architectures. For more information on registering for the Cloud Communications Expo click here.

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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TMCnet, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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