In Conversation with Stephen Cummings, SVP, InfinCE
InfinCE represents the next phase of cloud for enterprises. Being a progressive approach to running IT, InfinCE democratized the cloud enabling businesses of all kind to leverage its possibilities. Unveiled at the 2018 Small Business Expo, InfinCE marks a shift in “untangling technology”, which simplified how businesses utilize the cloud for refining their processes and operations. InfinCE delivers a secure cloud model that encompass all the essential IT requirements of enterprises.
As a radically different enterprise cloud system, InfinCE really invoked my curiosity to know more about its simplified cloud model. Stephen Cummings, the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Fingent Corporation was earnest enough to spare a little time from his busy schedule and give me a firm background about InfinCE in accordance with the questions that I presented. He elaborated on the features and functionalities of InfinCE, which got me well informed of the capabilities of this platform.
Thank you, Stephen, for your time. Let us begin this short interview with a brief description of what InfinCE is about.
So, can you tell us a bit about InfinCE and who is it aimed at?
Up until now, cloud technology has been structured for use by, and marketed to, a technical audience of developers and IT professionals in large corporations. We developed InfinCE to both simplify how businesses get the software and related support and to dramatically lower their IT-related costs. By building upon the latest developments in cloud-based systems, and incorporating available open source software, we have been able to pull together the things a small business needs to have a secure, modern IT infrastructure – from a company website and mail server to full-featured enterprise software and desktop tools.
InfinCE is the new way for small businesses to run IT.
Business owners don’t have time to learn about digital tools or to manage them, and they don’t have money to waste. We give them high-value technology options that are intuitive and affordable. Our concierge support services are at hand whenever there is a technical question or concern.
What led you to develop a cloud platform like InfinCE?
Survey after survey showed that a large percentage of small businesses were not taking advantage of technology that would help them significantly improve their ability to serve their customers. In today’s internet-focused world, their lack of technology puts them at a serious disadvantage to their more nimble competitors. Many companies were discouraged from using existing open-source software, which, though free of cost, did require technical knowledge to get set up.
At the same time, we knew that new developments in cloud and communications technology were making it possible to deliver solutions for them in a completely new way. For open source specifically, we knew if we could automate the setup process, a further barrier to its use would be eliminated. What we were able to do is to make software set up a “one-click” process and to do the same for support services.
Business owners can not only get up and running easily and quickly, but they can do so without anxiety because they can easily use a “life-line” to have someone knowledgeable lend a hand.
Yes, technical complexity and jargon are preventing businesses from adopting the technology. In view of that, can you elaborate on the challenges that you came across while developing this platform?
To make a system both powerfully featured and easy to use meant we had to meet a number of design challenges. How could we make the setup fast and automatic, even for business owners who may not be very technical themselves? How can we make it easy -whether a business owner is technologically intrepid or not – to leverage the options that make sense for their business?
How can we make application software developed by many independent developers work well together? How can we accommodate a flexible and economical infrastructure that works for simple or complex applications, and for small or large companies?
How can we make the user have a friendly experience, for example with a “single-sign-on” capability across all applications? How can we give users an even more secure system than is typical?
With data privacy and security featured again in the news, how much protection does a business cloud platform like InfinCE offer to businesses?
We have given a lot of focus on data security as it allows people to build trust within the application and its information – which is one of the most important factors. Every customer’s data is hosted on a separate secure virtual server. Our secure servers and SSL built for applications ensure that there is no information that is being tracked or eavesdropped by any external entities.
How much relevance does cloud computing have in today’s business environment? And where does InfinCE fit in this environment?
In today’s business environment, a business owner needs to have access to her data right when she needs it, irrespective of her location or geography and the device she is accessing it from. This is what cloud computing provides – an access to one’s business data at any time and anywhere you have an internet connection. Apart from this obvious benefit, cloud computing also improves scalability, business continuity, collaboration efficiency and reduces cost. So yes, cloud computing is going to be here for the foreseeable future.
Cloud computing is an umbrella term for different types of cloud services, that include SaaS, PaaS & IaaS. InfinCE can be considered as an IaaS service as we provide the servers, storage, and networking hardware, as well as the virtualization layer. On top of that, we also leverage SaaS to offer a plethora of tools and applications that will cover all the technology needs of an SMB. InfinCE is thus a unique combination of IaaS and SaaS to cater to all the IT needs of a small business.
Will InfinCE’s concept of cloud management for businesses lead to a better form of managing and optimizing business processes?
InfinCE is an IT solution for SMBs. A small or medium business owner needs technological solutions for a variety of business needs, but may not have an IT budget that is large enough to afford the top of the line enterprise software solutions. On the other hand, we have a lot of feature-rich Open Source software that are competitive alternatives to Enterprise Software.
The challenge here is that installing, customizing and setting up an Open Source software requires technology experts in the team. Off the shelf SaaS products will need the employees to access various products through multiple channels with multiple logins, with no single source for all of the business data.
InfinCE is a solution to this problem. We are constantly integrating good quality Open Source and third-party tools into our App Marketplace. With a few clicks, an InfinCE customer can add the desired App to his InfinCE Workplace.
The new software will automatically be integrated through Single Sign-On, becoming part of their IT system. This ease of plugging in business apps on demand makes InfinCE a powerful IT solution for SMBs.
What are the potential benefits that small and medium businesses can derive from using InfinCE?
In terms of setting up Small & Medium businesses, the ability to collaborate with their internal team and carrying out business activities has substantially improved and can be managed accurately using InfinCE — which no platform provides. Going further, different departments within a company can be micromanaged and this increases transparency by also allowing user restrictions across InfinCE.
Security is another key area that benefits our customers, as nowadays the emails, files that we share travel through various servers before reaching us, and there can be eavesdropping and privacy can be at stake. We provide servers that are managed by us to send emails and fresh dedicated email servers can also be bought at a very less cost.
How do you envision the future of InfinCE and what new improvements and upgrades will be implemented in this solution in the coming times?
InfinCE stands for “InfinCE Cloud for Enterprise” and that’s the vision driving us. By continuously integrating more and more applications in our App Marketplace and innovating our cloud solution, we aim to arm SMBs with the latest technology and tools. The business owners can concentrate on growing the business while we take care of their IT. Our work never stops!
Compared to other enterprise cloud platforms, what specific features have you included in InfinCE to make it a popular dependable platform?
Compared to other enterprise cloud platforms, we are providing one-of-a-kind platform wherein business can access numerous Open Source applications, with a Single-Sign-On option to effectively run their businesses. Apart from that, all the servers, hosting and basic support for Open Source applications are offered by us and an extremely affordable cost and is secured. Our features, costing, and level of services have been brutally transparent and there have not been any hidden costs involved which sets us apart from our potential competitors.
Does the extended storage options given at InfinCE come in specific tiers?
We prescribe a minimum of 2GB storage per user. Additional storage can be bought from a minimum of 10GB upwards. The real benefit for InfinCE customers is that they are in control of how the storage is allocated across the users. The business owner is free to do a differential allocation of the extended storage across users, as per individual requirements.
That indeed provided me with some in-depth information about InfinCE. In a way, the open accessible cloud model that you envision clearly does have much larger potential in the coming years. Deep down, I do believe in the same thing, which is that all businesses should be given the means to utilize technology to their advantage.
By creating a platform like InfinCE, Fingent Corp has indeed opened the doors of the cloud to businesses of all kind, so that they could remain technologically competitive and productive. Thank you, Stephen, for granting this interview and wishing the very best for all your ventures.
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