A Message from Ted Schultz, QFloors National Sales Manager
Cloud computing has received a lot of attention in the last few years, and market observers believe it to be the future. For people who are not familiar with cloud computing, it’s the practice that involves the use of network servers that are remotely located. Users access these remote servers through the internet to process, manage and store data, rather than on a local computer or local area network server.
Many businesses have started using cloud computing because it’s proving to be less expensive, faster and easier to maintain. The cloud is also being embraced by people for personal use, who use cloud services such as Google Docs, Dropbox, and others to access their files whenever and wherever they want.
Cloud computing has been accelerated with the global use of internet services as well as the development of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Many people carry their portable devices with them when away from their desks to easily access documents or media. In our industry, they would also be able to access prices and check inventory.
In basic terms, cloud computing is the process in which computing resources are delivered as a service over a network connection (the internet). Cloud computing relies on sharing a pool of physical and/or virtual resources, rather than deploying local or personal hardware and software. This would be similar to how a utility company works, in much the same way that a consumer taps into the national electricity supply, instead of running their own generator.
Other advantages include added safety and reliability due to physically hosted services being spread across multiple servers, so that individual system failures do not affect the continuity of the service.
It is important to understand that there are public clouds and private clouds. Broadly speaking, there are 3 models of cloud computing which describe the services offered; these are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas).
SaaS is arguably the most common of the cloud computing variations; it’s when applications are hosted and made available to customers over a network connection (browser). Many people make use of SaaS without realizing it, as many web applications are delivered in this way; Gmail, Flickr, Facebook are examples of SaaS. Enterprise users also frequently use SaaS, with many common accounting, invoicing, sales, communications and CRM systems being delivered this way.
QCloud is being delivered in a PaaS model. PaaS gives you less for more. The licensing is more expensive, it is less flexible and has a higher IT requirement. These are some of the reasons we are updating. QPro will be delivered in a SaaS model. Converting from a PaaS platform to a SaaS platform is not a trivial matter, and this is why you will see very few applications that can run an ERP system doing this.
We will be talking more about the Cloud in future newsletters where we will address concerns such as: What happens if I lose my connection, fears about my data being stored “in a cloud” and the security of my data.