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​What is the benefit of moving to the cloud?

Learn how the cloud make leasing software on a monthly basis more accessible and affordable.

When Houston-based Microsoft Partner, Scott Moore, is asked this question he quickly replies, "Buying software tradtionally is not always a wise investment for a business because of the maintainance costs and the rapid depreciation of the software. Licenses can't be sold or transferred if they go unused and there's a large up-front expense." With Microsoft's initiative to move its clients to the cloud, Scott's company, EASI, is able to offer Microsoft Dynamics products to business owners for a monthly subscription rate with no contracts. The subscriber receives continuously updated and supported software as opposed to those who purchased software traditionally.

"If a company subscribes to applications in the cloud, they can add or drop users for less expense." Moore also added, "Companies should know they can have 'a la carte cloud' options too, not everything has to be in the cloud; they have lots of options this way."

Traditionally, software licenses are purchased outright by the number of users or seats. Often, the high up-front cost, maintenance and renewal fees associated with these licenses have kept smaller businesses from having access to these tools. Hosting these applications like Microsoft CRM, GP, Office, and Exchange in the cloud allows the buyer to pay a monthly subscription price; users can be added and dropped without cancellation or sign-up fees.

"A business owner could start looking at his software subscription the same way he looks at his monthly cable or phone expense," Moore continued. EASI's services don't just include hosting Microsoft's applications but are able to customize the programs as well. As a business grows or changes, EASI can tailor the software to meet those changes; applications can remain in the cloud or be moved on-premise.

Moore emphasized that business owners need to understand and evaluate both the tradtional and cloud options when deciding to purchase a software solution for their company. His company offers a free thirty day trial of both hosted Microsoft CRM and GP to potential clients to allow them to navigate and test the software themselves.

Many business owners aren't aware that remote desktop is available in cloud services, or that various user restrictions can be set up within the cloud. Security is often an objection that arises when discussing the cloud, but often on-site servers are not maintained or updated properly by small businesses. When hosting in the cloud, information is stored in secure, climate-controlled data centers with back up generators and secure entry.

Microsoft's push to the cloud may seem like an ominous journey for some, but with a little bit of research many business owners will find that the tools it gives them access to will allow them to launch their business to the next level.