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.
To learn how your enterprise can benefit from custom-built business applications, get in touch with our experts today!
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2020 Turning The Year Of Multi-Cloud Adoption for Enterprises
There has been a lot of hype going on around businesses adopting multi-cloud strategies that make use of public, private, and hybrid cloud services. Businesses, especially the mid-market and enterprise-level industries can utilize multi-cloud strategy as a smart investment by leveraging the benefits of its resilient performance and virtual infrastructure.
A multi-cloud strategy is all about adopting a mixture of IAAS (Infrastructure As A Service) services from multiple cloud providers and sharing workloads among each of these services which are reliable, secure, flexible, and of course cost-effective.
Why Must Businesses Opt For A Multi-Cloud Strategy?
Businesses can adopt a multi-cloud strategy to acquire an optimal distribution of assets across the user’s cloud-hosting environments. With a multi-cloud strategy, businesses can have access to multiple options such as favorable Service Level Agreement terms and conditions, greater upload speed selection, customizable capacity, cost terms, and many more.
How Can Businesses Make A Multi-Cloud Adoption Decision?
Multi-cloud adoption decisions are based on 3 major considerations:
- Sourcing – Agility can be improved and chances of vendor lock-in can be avoided or minimized by sourcing. This decision can be driven by factors such as performance, data sovereignty, availability, regulatory requirements, and so on.
- Architecture – Architecture is a major decision-driver as many modern applications are mostly of modular fashion that can span multiple cloud providers and obtain services from any number of clouds.
- Governance – Businesses can now standardize policies, procedures, processes, and even share tools that can enable cost governance. By adopting services from multiple cloud providers, enterprises can now ensure operational control, unify administrative processes, and monitor their IT systems more effectively and efficiently.
Better disaster recovery and easier migration are the other key benefits that drive enterprises to adopt multi-cloud strategies.
Related Reading: Cloud Computing Trends To Expect In 2020
Top 7 Reasons To Adopt Multi-Cloud For Your Business
Ability To Find The Best-In-Class Multi-Cloud Providers
Businesses administrators can bring in the best-in-class cloud hosting providers for each task that best suits their requirements. In a recent survey by Gartner, 81% of respondents said that the multi-cloud approach proved beneficial to them. Businesses are free to make their decisions based on the sourcing, architecture, and governance factors as mentioned above.
According to a recent study by RightScale, organizations leverage almost 5 different cloud platforms on average. This figure shows the transformation of enterprises increasingly towards multi-cloud environments. Businesses struggling with legacy IT systems, hardware suppliers, and on-premise structures can benefit from adopting multi-cloud infrastructures to improve agility as well as workload mobility amongst heterogeneous cloud platforms.
Flexibility And Scalability
With a competent multi-cloud adoption, enterprises can now scale their storage up or down based on their requirements. A multi-cloud environment is a perfect place for the storage of data with proper automation as well as real-time syncing. Based on the requirements of individual data segments, businesses can depend on multiple cloud vendors specifically. For improved scalability, enterprises must focus on achieving the following 4 key factors:
- A single view of each cloud asset
- Portable application design
- The capability to automate and orchestrate across multiple clouds
- Improved workload placement
Network Performance Improvement
With a multi-cloud interconnection, enterprises can now create high-speed, low-latency infrastructures. This helps to reduce the costs associated with integrating clouds with the existing IT system. When businesses extend their networks to multiple providers in this manner, proximity is ensured and low-latency connections are established that in turn improves the application’s response time along with providing the user a better experience.
Improved Risk Management
Risk management is a great advantage that multi-cloud strategies can provide businesses with. For instance, consider the case where a vendor has an infrastructure meltdown or an attack. A multi-cloud user can mitigate the risk by switching to another service provider or back up or to a private cloud, immediately. Adopting redundant, independent systems that provide robust authentication features, vulnerability testing as well as API assets consolidation ensure proper risk management.
Prevention Of Vendor Lock-In
With a multi-cloud strategy, enterprises can evaluate the benefits, terms, and pitfalls of multiple service providers and can choose the option to switch to another vendor after negotiation and careful validation. Analyzing terms and conditions before signing a partnership with a vendor can prevent vendor lock-in situations.
Enterprises can choose between the vendors and select the best-suited based on their offerings such as adjustable contracts, flexible payment schemes, the capacity to customize, and many other features.
To learn more about adopting an effective multi-cloud strategy and the benefits it offers, drop us a call and talk to an expert.
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Why Businesses With Matured Cloud Footprints Should Move To The Hyper Hybrid Cloud?
The Cloud is no longer an option. It is the revolution that has become inevitable for businesses and more and more businesses are recognizing this and moving their data into the cloud. They are implementing mature cloud strategies that call for comprehensive cloud management solutions. They need a solution, which can handle the scale and complexity involved in advanced integration and orchestration. The hyper-hybrid cloud becomes extremely important here and is paving new operational avenues for all businesses.
This blog explains the reasons why and how your business can benefit from moving on to the hyper-hybrid cloud.
Understanding What Hyper-Hybrid Cloud Is
The hyper-hybrid cloud is the best of two cloud services, private and public. Let’s break it up to get the complete sense of the term.
In business terms, the word ‘hyper’ means greater, or more than usual, and ‘hybrid’ means mixed. As the name suggests, hyper-hybrid makes use of both on-premises private cloud, as well as third party public cloud resources but with increased diversity, and complexity.
The hyper-hybrid cloud forms an inter-routed plumbing system, as it were, between private and public clouds with greater flexibility according to the businesses demand, needs, and cost changes. It also provides virtualization and virtualization software management so that businesses can easily visualize hardware assets and move them to a private or public cloud as the need may be. This is the reason why many industries are moving towards the hyper-hybrid cloud instead of getting locked in with only a private or public provider.
Related Reading: Core Challenges While Enterprises Move to Hybrid Cloud and DevOps
Should Your Business Move to the Hyper-hybrid Cloud?
With the massive array of options available at hand, businesses are adopting a “multi-cloud” strategy as opposed to the cloud strategy. This means that they are adopting a hybrid cloud with at least one public cloud and one private cloud. What they need is a system with multiple applications and infrastructure services on both the cloud platforms with flexibility and maneuverability. That is what ‘the hyper-hybrid cloud’ is.
Although some businesses are successful with public cloud providers, a few others have found it necessary to keep some resources private due to cost, performance, and compliance considerations. Consider these questions to check if your business is suitable for a hyper-hybrid cloud model:
- Is your business serving a number of verticals, each with a different IT security and performance requirement?
- Do you want to optimize cloud investment without compromising the value proposition of private or public cloud technologies?
- Do you want to improve security on existing cloud solutions?
- Do you want a cloud solution where you can conveniently switch between public and private clouds depending on your needs and what the market offers?
If your answer is yes, then moving on to the hyper-hybrid cloud is your best option.
Related Reading: How Secure is Your Business in a Multi-Cloud Environment
Five Incredible Benefits of the Hyper-hybrid Cloud
- Flexibility: Varying IT demands can be managed with greater flexibility. The distribution of workloads across private and public infrastructure based on performance, cost and security can be easily handled in line with your business policies.
- Increased automation and consistency: As your business grows, you cannot afford to spend too much time on your resource utilization projects which must remain accurate, nonetheless. The hyper-hybrid cloud helps your business automate processes by implementing rules which allow you to access the resources according to your business requirements. This way, it ensures that the process is consistent even if it must be repeated over multiple environments.
- Scalability: When it comes to managing intensive workloads, the hyper-hybrid cloud is highly scalable. It can scale down to utilize the private cloud or scale up to utilize the public cloud according to the need of the hour.
- Enhanced security: Since the hyper-hybrid cloud integrates the public cloud model with on-premises cloud hardware, it provides your business total control over systems, security, and policies. Similar to a private cloud model, the hyper-hybrid operates behind a firewall. The security of sensitive information is guaranteed as it operates from a private cloud. At the same time, this allows your business to manage the day to day enterprise operations on a public cloud that can easily be scaled according to your needs.
- Well balanced: The hyper-hybrid cloud structure makes it easy to divide the workload between both the cloud computing models and provide the maximum capacity to accommodate the demands of your business. It enables your business to stay competitive with the aid of such a versatile platform.
Related Reading: Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure: How It Benefits Your Business
Experiencing Success With Hyper-hybrid Cloud
The hyper-hybrid cloud plays a crucial role in helping your business respond to the changing market needs and demands. It is both beneficial and critical for a business that wants to enhance productivity and security, and improve scalability and consistency. Fingent can help you successfully meet the challenges of implementing a hyper-hybrid cloud solution. Talk to us to understand how we can solve your dilemmas related to cloud platforms.
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How To Leverage A Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure For A Positive Business Outcome
The modern IT world has Hybrid IT transformations happening every single day. Different enterprises have infrastructure and applications from different vendors. These applications when crossing through clouds are weighed down significantly by enormous amounts of data. The proprietary tools gathered from various vendors do not communicate with each other either. Here comes the need for integrating advanced infrastructure and management to bring the clouds together. This is called Hybrid Cloud management (HCM).
Why Consider A Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure For Your Enterprise?
Most organizations are skeptical of going public or private cloud especially when it comes to dealing with sensitive data.
A private cloud, also known as an enterprise cloud, is a model of cloud computing where IT services are rendered over a private IT infrastructure. This is dedicated to the use of a single organization and is managed through internal resources. On the other hand, a public cloud is a computing service model that renders storage and computational services via the Internet to the public users. Public cloud is what is referred to as ‘Cloud Computing’ generally.
Features Of A Good Cloud Management Solution
A good cloud management system should facilitate as a bridge between the private and public cloud infrastructures. The role of a great HCM (Hybrid Cloud Management) platform is unifying and streamlining the cross-cloud activities of the Hybrid IT infrastructure, applications, and all of its associated services.
The existing Hybrid Cloud Management tools are classified into 3 major categories such as the following:
- Cloud and Service Fabric – For provisioning, deploying, and managing public/ private cloud resources.
- Service Management – For optimization of cloud services.
- Application/ Infrastructure Management – For provisioning, deploying, and managing of various business applications as well as cloud services.
The following are the key benefits leveraged from an effective Hybrid cloud management platform:
- Improved Analytics – Obtaining an insight into the minutest of details is essential in every multi-cloud environment. All operational concerns, gathering information on underutilized assets, making effective resource distribution, etc are made possible via a proper hybrid cloud management platform.
- Optimized Cost Management – The spending limits for various projects can be added via a great hybrid cloud management platform. It provides visibility into budgeting and controlling of various cloud resources, at a granular level.
- Increased Efficiency – Hybrid cloud management platforms enable access to cloud resources for developers and users. This on-demand self-service access empowers users to be efficient and productive. For instance, activities such as resizing of assets, and reclaiming are made automated through a hybrid cloud management platform.
This is where a Hybrid solution is required. Hybrid cloud management is a process as well as a platform via which a hybrid cloud is managed.
Cloud Management Platform: Why Is It Critical In Making A Hybrid Infrastructure
Amidst the pressing confusion of enterprises to choose between a private and public cloud infrastructure, the current environment involves the majority of businesses choosing a hybrid approach.
A multitude of vendors sells cloud-based services based on customized requirements. In this scenario, the challenge with a hybrid cloud management platform is that they are puzzled about the deployment of a cohesive cloud management platform. This should provide a bridge amidst the public and private cloud infrastructures.
Managing The Intersection Between Private And Public Clouds
In a private cloud, data resides in a hosted data center or the intranet of a firm. Here, all the data is protected behind a firewall. Businesses who can use their current infrastructure can benefit out of the private cloud strategy as they already have expensive data centers. However, since the entire management and maintenance of these data centers is taken care of by the enterprises, replacement of the servers can be a very costly affair. Private clouds, but, offer an increased level of security.
The public cloud environment, on the other hand, stores data on the provider’s data center. The public cloud environment considerably reduces lead times in testing and in deploying services.
The management of the intersection between the public and private clouds is thus necessary for the following key reasons:
1. Relying On Multiple Cloud Vendors: Handling Management Complexity
Different vendors provide unique platforms and services with a different set of rules. Relying on multiple cloud vendors can thus make management a daunting process. For instance, access management becomes a complex process when there are different services deployed by multiple vendors. It is hence important to partner with a single managed service provider to create a hybrid cloud management platform by taking various critical factors like the above mentioned into account.
2. Concerns Of Security Threats And Breaches
An enterprise or an internal cloud environment stores its data in a single place. Unlike this approach of a private or an on-premise cloud, a hybrid cloud environment does not require to reside in a single place. This can lead to security or compliance breaches.
Businesses must learn where their data is hosted physically to avoid potential threats. This can be accomplished by an effective hybrid cloud management platform where the insights are provided across multiple cloud landing regions.
3. Cloud Computing And The Dangers Of Shadow IT
Shadow IT arises from two main cloud solution features, namely external hosting of solutions and the pay-as-you-go feature. IT-related risks such as those associated with data security, disaster recovery, data privacy, and system reliability, etc rise from the former. The latter gives rise to risks associated with the financial aspects of cloud deployment. This by-passing of the in-house IT as a whole leads to security and compliance issues.
An effective hybrid cloud management strategy is thus the solution for preventing such risks and managing the platform proactively.
Future Of Hybrid Cloud Management
By the year 2020, Gartner forecasts that 90% of enterprises will adopt the hybrid cloud infrastructure. Incorporation of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation into hybrid cloud platforms will continue to create technological breakthroughs.
Vendor collaboration is seen as the next big strong feature of hybrid cloud management.
With the support of the right partner, your business can optimize your cloud investment strategy to reap desired outcomes. Call our experts right away to learn more about how you can make the best out of your hybrid infrastructure with a cloud management platform!