While the pounding rain and howling winds of Hurricane Sandy blew through our area this week taking down trees, flooding roads, and knocking the power out, she couldn 't stop our business. A couple of years ago we had a devastating ice storm in the Boston area. It was December 2008 and I remember trees exploding from the weight of the ice that formed on their branches. In fact, one tree entered one side of my home and exited the other. I had to use a chain saw in my home to clean it up. 

Moving servers to the cloud means no more maintenance to in-house servers

We lost power for weeks and our business was in complete turmoil.  Why?  Because we were hosting all of our applications on our own servers.  Fast forward 4 years and now we have everything in the cloud.  So when the power goes out and our office is closed, we can work offsite anywhere there is an Internet connection.  So as Sandy blew in here and knocked the power out of our office, our operations continued to be accessible via the cloud from the homes of our employees. 

As a Digital Agency based in Manchester, NH, we provide Digital Marketing, Web Development and Customer Support throughout Boston, New England, and across the country.  Our website servers are located in an underground bunker in the Washington DC area.  In fact, outside of a nuclear war, it would be virtually impossible for anything to affect its operation.  All of the servers are automatically backed up and have replication. There are a number of Internet trunks in and out, back up generators and very tight physical security. 

We moved our web development, project panagement, sales force automation, and sustomer support systems all offsite. We have both our GIT and SVN development repositories hosted by Beanstalk.  Hubspot hosts our Inbound Marketing platform.

Google Apps allows better collaboration between workers, all while being hosted on the cloud

Lastly, we migrated to Google Apps for e-mail, scheduling, and collaboration. This was the best move we made.  In fact we are recommending to all of our clients to move to Google Apps. With Google Apps, we are able to share documents and calendars, and emails all in one place.  In fact, multiple people can work on the same documents together.  We love to use Google hangout to do web conferencing or  screen share.  All in all, I can see a lot of companies walking away from the expensive in-house Microsoft site server and IT. I remembered the days when an IT department was chasing applications servers and PC around trying to get everything to work. We are moving to inexpensive small Apple Air PCs with no disc drives because everything is in the cloud.

So making the move to put our entire business in the cloud is really paying off and not just when storms like Sandy blow through. The quality, ease of use, collaboration, and the cost of these applications in the cloud are amazing.

Let us know how your business has shifted to the cloud!

Ben Bassi
By Ben Bassi

Founder and CEO of CommonPlaces, is a seasoned Internet veteran and marketing executive. His extensive experience in Web-related business dates back to the early ‘90s; with a career specializing in digital strategy, planning, and marketing.

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