Blue Saffron Cloud Solutions

Overview of Blue Saffron Cloud proposition

Embrace the myriad benefits of cloud based applications. Available as fixed subscriptions Blue Saffron has partnered with industry leading suppliers of Software as a Service (or SaaS) based solutions. Tailoring offerings to your exact needs Blue Saffron can provide support, installation and training. The current portfolio is illustrated below. Please click on the icon the discover more.

Understanding the Cloud proposition

All it takes is a credit card to spin up a SaaS application. But consider how you integrate with that cloud app, or you'll be condemned to create another silo. Without a solid integration strategy, data quality quickly becomes a problem. You don't want a new SaaS system to be hindered by having to enter data twice -- or worse, by not having the correct data available when a core business process requires it.

As supplement to its Application portfolio Blue Saffron also offer a comprehensive range of integration services – we work with industry defining partners including Jitterbit, Zendesk, Qlik and Netsuite. Further information on services can be found on our Cloud Integration page.

Understanding the Cloud proposition

‘Cloud’ has become the ubiquitous term for all things hosted in obscurity. We see a number of emerging trends, a tendency of some service providers to "cloud wash" even the most traditional of technologies and approaches, the growing complexity of underlying infrastructure but, at core, the concepts at work still remain relatively simple;

Cloud is merely computing resources provided as a service, where the underlying infrastructure is managed by the cloud provider. The service type can extend from core infrastructure right through to the end-user application, where typical Cloud service types are defined as Infrastructure, Platform and Software as a service:

Cloud Layers

Cloud services can be deployed in either a public or a private environment. A public deployment is explicitly shared by multiple organisations, and can raise issues of security and compliance as your data is not necessarily contained. A private cloud solution allows you greater control over the use and storage of data and therefore enhanced security and compliance are then possible.

Secure Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid model is an attempt to provide the best of both worlds by using both deployments; with the security of the private cloud for sensitive data; and the cost savings and scalability of the public cloud for externally facing operations.

Cloud services provide several key benefits over traditional solutions, the first of which is the focus away from physical computer resources on the customer premises.

Cloud Ability

 

What is the Blue Saffron Cloud?

Blue Saffron will help you assess the business case for moving to a cloud solution, help you alight on the appropriate solution type and work with you to implement the solution. By providing on-going management of the solution we can ensure that your solution grows with you and give you the day-to-day support your users may need.

Blue Saffron utilises several cloud platforms to deliver both public and private deployments, offering several service types.

Some examples of Blue Saffron Cloud Solutions include:

Cloud Recovery Service is a business continuity solution that allows us to restore your IT infrastructure rapidly; restoring business applications, data and access completely.

Virtual Desktop Services is a complete desktop solution available anywhere at anytime, allowing you to remove reliance on specific and costly desktop hardware and gain greater flexibility and availability.

Business Applications like Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint, Dynamics and more can be delivered remotely.

Virtual Phone Systems allow for a great capacity, scalability and fault tolerance and advanced call routing to phones anywhere.

Online Backup is a safe and secure backup solution that runs daily across your chosen selection of devices, storing versions of changing documents for fast and effective recovery when you need it.

Virtual Datacentre is an infrastructure solution that allows you to build your own network environemnt in a secure and isolated virtual datacentre. With fully redundant connectivity and data replication built in, it can act as the cornerstone of a highly-available and resilient company infrastructure.

Cloud Monitoring is a method for monitoring various aspects of yourcloud services whether public or private and independent of the cloud provider. Measure your uptime and response levels, while providing real-time alerts and powerful reporting tools.

SaaS PaaS IaaS

Benefits of Cloud enabled IT solutions

Simplify the IT support environment,  reducing the overheads associated with administering onsite technology
Improve system and data security, both physical and virtual, by leveraging enterprise grade security platforms.
Eliminate the risks associated with hardware and system failure such as disks, servers and network.
Improve the accessibility & availability of data, services and  systems to support mobile working.

How to select the best Cloud provider services

What should be your key considerations when selecting a provider service?
Office virtualisation and web-based applications are attractive for a number of reasons, not least because of the scalability of the Cloud, the reduction in burden on IT staff and the fact that it should save time and money. With the advent of flexible working practices and remote working, it is not hard to recognise the value of adopting a Cloud approach to IT infrastructure and applications. But how should companies address the myriad of Cloud options and what questions should they ask of a provider before taking this important step?

Here we have outlined some of the more important questions. The relative importance of each will be determined by the nature, size and scope of a project but would invariably entail more detailed discussion of one, or more of the following points:

As an intelligent, independent service provider we have our heads totally in the Cloud and will come up with some great and pertinent answers. Just drop us a line or give us a ring.

Cloud services integration

What are your key considerations when deploying Cloud-based services?

Functionality choices are driven by the user or consumer of the service. With any new system, the challenge for the IT team to keep in mind is the management of conflicting requirements from a systems, data and user-support integration perspective, particularly in a distributed support environment. Such operational requirements can often be set-aside or forgotten when choices are made.

Initially, BSL advocates careful consideration of the Cloud service to ensure that it is delivered on a solid business foundation by establishing if the:-

The next step is to understand the level of integration required in order to integrate Cloud based services into the IT support fabric:-

Supporting the user and their devices

Support in a Cloud environment starts with being able to proactively manage and guide the user, regardless of the device they are using or the location of the user.

BSL have invested heavily in the systems, tools and automation necessary to provide scaled support that meets the demands for a large user base across multiple locations, but also multiple devices for every user – desktops, servers, mobiles , switches , routers, storage, applications – we have many and most things covered. If you don’t see something covered please ask!.

Single sign-on

Deployment of Cloud based services often means a proliferation of usernames and passwords. This creates both a challenge for the user and an overhead for the support team.

We eliminate issues associated with password and identity sprawl by enabling the management of users and access permissions centrally. This simplifies the support environment and improves the security by giving the user one password to remember.

Proactive end-to-end monitoring

Support in a Cloud environment becomes more complex. How do you identify where a support issue exists and therefore, who needs to own the support issue?

BSL will constantly monitor all aspects of a service from the mobile device and desktop through to the supporting communications and server infrastructure. We also take a service level view by monitoring the availability and performance of Cloud based functions over the Internet. So if you have key applications in the Cloud we will instantly know if there is a performance or availability issue and who owns it.

Will the migration process be disruptive ?

Most successful Cloud migrations follow good planning and testing, there is no magic required.

A few details to consider:

Vendor Management

The growing use of Cloud based services is changing the emphasis of the traditional role of the IT manager; from supporting the technology onsite to managing the vendor relationships that contribute to the overall IT service.

Using our helpdesk and monitoring systems we are able to manage the support interface for your users with third party vendors providing :-

Data integration and security – just  how secure is the Cloud ?

How do you avoid the creation of data silos when deploying cloud based solutions and services?

BSL provides the capability and expertise that enables the extraction and exchange of data in a secure controlled environment using a sophisticated toolset that :-

How secure is the Cloud?

Cloud security is a hot topic, often cited as one of the main concerns that prevent businesses from adopting this type of IT solution.
There are some who argue that the Cloud is intrinsically less secure than traditional on-site set-ups, while others contend that migrating data and services to the Cloud will actually allow companies to operate in a more secure environment.

What typically helps to sell Cloud security to the skeptical is the argument that individual businesses cannot possibly hope to achieve the same levels of protection as dedicated provider data centres. For all but the largest of corporations it is simply impractical to provide security on a similar scale, because doing so would be prohibitively expensive.

The Cloud, then, is able to offer a safer and more convenient way for businesses to store data and run apps with fewer threats to worry about.

No IT solution can boast total security, but the Cloud gives companies of all sizes a better chance of avoiding the pitfalls of modern computing, helping them enjoy better protection against persistent risks.

Cloud platforms are still protected by the same password systems as on-site solutions, which means there is still the potential for security loopholes to originate from end users rather than the platforms themselves. As such, businesses need to take a proactive stance towards security, ensuring that staff are trained in this arena so that vulnerabilities such as weak passwords do not end up being the Achilles heel of your IT infrastructure.
As long as businesses are not complacent and make themselves aware of the peculiarities of the Cloud, there is no reason to avoid adoption. Skepticism persists in certain areas, but the Cloud is doing much to prove itself as the more secure option.

Supporting the hybrid environment

How do you make the best use of your internal IT expertise? Where should their time be focussed; on the day-to-day support issues? Or on the applications and data that make your business competitive?

We work closely with our client's in-house team to help maximise their time spent on high-value projects, by managing first line and support call triage and beyond. We will manage the escalation of calls that cannot be resolved by your in-house IT team to our own support specialists or third-party vendors.

Our investment in advanced monitoring tools, automation and support technology means that we can proactively assess and identify common support issues before they become a problem. Ultimately we can provide clear data to back-up your IT management and investment decisions.

We eliminate the single points of failure often associated with the typical support environment:-

We operate deliberately flexible terms of engagement. Our proposition is one of selective out-tasking. We focus on the areas of support you need us for, leaving your team free to focus on other key aspects of your IT without the day-to-day distractions, freeing up valuable time and resources to drive your IT and your business forward.