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Suggestions for online IT solutions

  • Thread starter Third Sector Lab
  • Start date
Third Sector Lab

Third Sector Lab

New Member
I'm helping a non-profit look at online alternatives to the usual Microsoft/server-based/in-house IT solutions. Below is a list of the areas of IT they'd like to replace with a more flexible in the cloud solution:

Email Accounts - Is Google Apps for domains a good enough alternative to Outlook?

Calendars (need to be shared and updatable by all remotely) - Is Google Calendar the best altenrative to the Outlook calendar?

Contact Database with Customer Relationship Management functions - Looking to use something simple like Highrise or perhaps Salesforce. Any recommendations?

Sharing files - use server or remote access hardrive?

Back Ups and Sharing of Files - Should we use both physical drives and a service like Diino, Mozy or DropBox? What do SBFers find is the best out of those three?

Remote Access of Desktops - Logmein, GotomyPC or is there another alternative? I've also been looking at hardware options which allow remote access, such as Nivio and Pogoplug...anyone got any views on them?

Sorry about the tons of questions! If anyone has an views on any of the areas I'd love to hear them.
 
L

Lanarkshire IT Services

New Member
Hi There

I would look at Logmeins Hamachi for VPN / File Sharing.

For remote access I'd consider Team Viewer - feature packed, Mac / Windows clients, Vista / 7 UAC compatible / Built-in VPN plus tons more - FREE to non-commercials. I have a local church VPN working well with this.

Have look at Ubuntu Server for your cloud stuff.

Regards
 
computer storm

computer storm

New Member
Why dont you take a look at Microsoft Online services, they have one called BPOS, this will give you e-mail, shaepoint and also Live office meeting.

Very easy to setup, they have a little application that once you have brought the services you install and run, this then configures everything you need, including outlook.
Can also be accessed from anywhere and is really cost effective.

If you would like more info on this then give me a shout or check out the link below.

Online Services from Microsoft for email, messaging and collaboration allow you to hand off IT management chores and spend more time on what moves your business forwards
 
stugster

stugster

Active Member
Verified Member
I'm actually impressed with Microsoft's online stuff. It's reasonably priced and works well.

Just remember that by going down the "cloud service" route, if your Internet isn't up to speed or it goes down for any reason, the entire business grinds to a halt. Where you might be saving money in the short term, it could be getting poured down the drain long-term.


Make sense?
 
computer storm

computer storm

New Member
I'm actually impressed with Microsoft's online stuff. It's reasonably priced and works well.

Just remember that by going down the "cloud service" route, if your Internet isn't up to speed or it goes down for any reason, the entire business grinds to a halt. Where you might be saving money in the short term, it could be getting poured down the drain long-term.


Make sense?
Hi Stu,

You’re quite correct about the speed of internet connection and also if it goes down, that’s why it would be best to setup a local server with sbs2003/2008 and then setup co-existence with the Microsoft online package, then just set the remote users to use the online services and any in the office to use the local servers resources for sending and receiving mail.
And the best thing about it is that it integrates well with the local Active Directory by using the Active Directory Synchronisation tool
 
Third Sector Lab

Third Sector Lab

New Member
Thanks for the tips guys, all really helpful. There's only about 6 people work in the office and many of them work part-time so there's never a huge strain on the system.

Humyo has been suggested to me...any SBFers use it?
 
computer storm

computer storm

New Member
Its ok but why pay nearly £6 for just a file sharing application when you can pay £6 for exchange, sharepoint and other collaboration tools from Microsoft. More value for your money.

So for the 6 users it would only cost you around £30 odd pound for the lot every month.
 
JohnEvans

JohnEvans

New Member
Despite the level of reliability provided by Microsoft, data loss in Office 365 may happen due to human error, viruses on the user’s side or other failures. Microsoft provides some mechanisms in Office 365 to prevent data loss. You can easily backup office 365 mailbox and be sure in your sdata safety.
 
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