A GOLDEN age of cloud computing will be triggered by widespread availability of the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Queensland, according to Centra Networks.
The company’s technical director Matthew Militano (pictured right) reveals state-wide works will commence at 680,000 premises before mid-2015 to facilitate connection to the Federal Government-funded NBN.
“Up to one third of the nation’s homes and businesses will be connected. The more town centres are connected, the better the link quality and more viable cloud services become an option,” says Militano.
Centra Networks, which is based at Stones Corner in Brisbane’s inner east, has received high interest in cloud-computing with more customers choosing a hybrid approach.
“We have set up Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 for Outlook, intranet, video and voice conferencing. However, a not-forprofit (NFP) organisation also wanted a small in-house server to fill the gaps where cloud services were not suitable for IT requirements,” says Militano.
“We found a cloud and custom built in-house system was best for advanced file-sharing. Microsoft gave the not-for-profit organisation a competitive price.”
The NFP’s former server and infrastructure was old and failing to cope with 16 sites across the state.
“Their links to the head office were not fast enough and unable to service the business successfully,” says Militano.
“Since we installed the new server they saw a quantum change in the way staff interacts through technology. Remote workers in places like Dalby and Kingaroy feel more connected to the business as if they are in one office with access to the same data.”
Centra Networks’ CEO Craig Belcher (pictured left) praises the improved telecommunication infrastructure.
“The added benefit was being able to plug voice over internet protocol phones into the cloud network. Everyone in the office can simply dial an extension number to reach the other offices,” he says.
However, businesses with highly customised servers may find moving to the cloud platform a costly and time-consuming exercise.
“While these solutions are inexpensive they have their own establishing time requirements. It does not take five minutes; it can take a good few weeks to transition and upload data to these systems depending on business size,” says Militano.
“Setting up Office 365 can cost as little as $27 a month for email, SharePoint, intranet, video-conferencing and telephones. In some situations, cloud does not give you a better price and it can be cheaper to buy your own in-house IT systems while also utilising cloud services."
To read the entire IT feature series get your copy of Brisbane Business News' April issue - out now at a newsagent near you.
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