10 Reasons to Move to the Cloud

10 Reasons to Move to the Cloud

RapidScale’s CloudOffice is the first bundle in the market to include a full suite of cloud solutions for a business all in one package. CloudOffice is the ultimate “Cloud-in-a-box” solution which provides users with a virtual desktop, email, applications including Microsoft Office, virtual servers, and full disaster recovery backup all for one flat rate. It’s the first total solution for any business that makes it easy to move from the old-school in-house IT environment, to the modern, virtual environment.

Here’s why you’ll be jumping for joy when you eliminate IT headaches and save you company a whole lot of bucks by moving into the cloud:

1. Virtual Desktop

Virtual desktops (Desktop as a Service) are becoming widely embraced in the business environment. RapidScale’s solution, CloudDesktop, give a user the ability to work from the cloud, instead of relying on a physical desktop or laptop. You get the ability to login through your web-browser, desktop icon, or an app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Moving a workspace to the cloud gives you so many possibilities such as never having to worry about using that ONE laptop all the time, you can use ANY device anywhere, anytime, and access your desktop with all of your files.


2. Virtual Server

We move your in-house servers into our Cloud. It is the best service in the industry. RapidScale gives you on-demand capacity with the best infrastructure tools and utilities available. RapidScale’s Infrastructure as a Service (CloudServer) is backed by vCloud hypervisor, NetApp storage, and Cisco UCS blade chassis. The greatest thing about CloudOffice is that you never have to save anything anywhere other than in your virtual space.  So what does this mean for you? No

more physical servers in that server closet down the hall. That means no more backup generators, individual cooling units, or backing things up to tapes (yes, people still do that). With your infrastructure being hosted off-site, you free up your IT staff to focus on value-added tasks such as planning and development, instead of running around patching machines and fixing bugs

3. CloudMail

While yes, everyone does have email. And yes, it’s pretty easy to get. RapidScale has wrapped our very own Hosted Microsoft Exchange into CloudOffice. Why is Hosted email better than any other kind of email? Well, it’s so much simpler. We do all the maintenance, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of leaving a dozen voicemails with the IT guy to fix your email. The costs to set up hosted exchange are significantly lower than to set up an internal server, host all of your emails, deal with storage, backup, and recovery, and it’s so much more reliable. RapidScale uses the best of the best when it comes to our hardware (which, yes, was VERY expensive) so you get the benefit of the top-of-the-line stuff without having to buy it all. See you later CapEx, we took care of that for you.

4. Disaster Recovery

Did you know that housing your data in-house is EXTREMELY risky? What are you going to do if you have a power outage? Or what if the air conditioning stops working and your servers overheat and fail? You could be sitting on a complete loss of data with the possibility of going out of business. Yikes. The good thing about moving to the cloud is that RapidScale is fully redundant across all of our data centers. This means that say our data center in California decides to fall into the ocean, then the rest of our data centers take over and keep the data up and running, without a second of downtime. We run only out of the highest quality data centers in the world, which makes giving you a 100% uptime guarantee an absolute reality.

5. Cost

So let’s look at the facts here. In a traditional IT situation, you have to start with buying your hardware, which can be EXTREMELY pricey. This can rack up in cost when you start buying servers, routers, switches, desktops, cables, etc.

Plus, you have to think about their refresh cycle. There is no infinity with these babies; they’ve got to be replaced every 3-5 years. So all that money you just spent, well, expect to spend that much every couple of years. Next there’s software. Every user has to have their own license, for every application they use, and on every device. To top it off, did you know these initial costs only make up 10% of your overall IT spend!? The other 90% comes when you have to factor in networking, IT labor, setup, facility cost, management tools, power/cooling, support, maintenance, security, backup, and disaster recovery. Moving to RapidScale’s cloud eliminates that entire headache, because we deal with all the hardware and software for you. Forget those in-house nightmares, everything is managed, hosted, backed up, and monitored 24x7x365 from the folks at RapidScale too.

6. 24x7x365 support

Have you ever had to deal with calling your IT guy and trying to explain to him why your email isn’t sending that thing to that person and them telling you “just restart it”? Well, we have these great people over here at RapidScale that can monitor and fix issues before you even know they exist. You don’t ever have to worry about trying to jump start your hardware or software when it starts to give you grief. We might not be in the office next to you, but we sure are just a phone call or email away if you ever have any questions anytime of the day, from anywhere.

7. Mobility

You probably have a laptop… and a tablet… and a smartphone… and if you’re up in the tech world, maybe even Google Glass. We bet that you get pretty annoyed when you have to drag your laptop with you wherever you go so that you can work on that presentation you need to get done. Here’s the thing about CloudOffice, you can access your stuff from any device via your web browser or our App. You can log in from the app on your smartphone, regardless of your operating system (check out the demo here) or work on your presentation from your tablet. Plus, once you hit save, it’s saved on your virtual desktop, which means that you never have to use flash drives to move stuff from one computer to the next. It’s all there on your desktop that lives in RapidScale’s cloud. How much more convenient can that be!?

8. Security

So let’s talk about security. RapidScale proudly houses our data in some of the top data centers in the United States available to the public. Anything higher is typically utilized by organizations like the government — for mission critical type stuff. Our data centers are all Tier 3, Class 1 data centers (find out what that means here) featuring full redundancy, biometric scanning for entry, fully enclosed and locked cages, round-the-clock interior and exterior surveillance, and more.

9. Stability

Since you’re running everything from the cloud, you can expect the same performance no matter what device you’re using. RapidScale gives you unlimited bandwidth running in and out of the data center, which delivers the best experience to all of our users regardless of where they work or on what device. Plus, with our 100% uptime guarantee, you don’t have to worry about wondering if your desktop will be up and running. It just will be, all the time.

10. Easy

So in the event that all of these other points haven’t won you over yet, the final way you can really love your new cloud environment is by experiencing how simple it is to use. Our interface is Windows 7 based meaning that no matter what device you use, you have a familiar, standard user interface that is simple to navigate. RapidScale takes care of design, testing, migrations, and implementations so you can focus on running your business instead of why the email isn’t working. RapidScale has made something so convenient and so efficient that you’ll be so glad you moved to the cloud.

Connecticut Communications is an authorized RapidScale partner.  Not only can we provide you the necessary paperwork for RapidScale, but we can help you move your data to the Cloud!  Contact Connecticut Communications to setup a meeting to see how Cloud Computing can help your business.

Scott Marks 203.985.1001

Connecticut Communications Newsletter October 2014

Connecticut Communications Newsletter October 2014

This month’s newsletter covers cloud computing.  Put your PC in the cloud with virtual desktop.  No longer do you need to worry about losing the data in your laptop or PC.  You can log into your virtual desktop from anywhere, safely and securely.

Don’t forget, we change our clocks back an hour this weekend.  Learn how to change the time on your NEC phone system.

CloudDesktop (Virtual Desktop)

Security: Organizations will no longer have important information on computers. A user name and password is required to get into the virtual desktop environment.
Scalability: Organizations can easily add or remove users as needed.
Technology Refresh: Virtual desktops allow you to eliminate upgrading computers every 3 years.
Cost-Effective: Users can switch to thin client/zero client which helps provide organizations with an ROI.
Easy development: Allow Connecticut Communications to do this for you.

Business Implications
BYOD: Bring Your Own Device is changing the business world. Not only has it increased productivity and innovation, but it has also helped with employee satisfaction and cost savings.

  • Increased Productivity and Innovation
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Increased Productivity and Innovation

Connecticut Communications offers solutions that enable you to introduce BYOD efficiently and securely in your business. Our CloudDesktop and CloudOffice solutions are perfect for companies that want to embrace this new way of working.

Connecticut Communications will custom build your virtual desktop environment based on your organization’s needs.  Connecticut Communications can help provide you with licensing or use your existing licensing as well. All applications will be accessed via the Citrix Receiver and your data will be encrypted at flight and at rest. Our vendor will manage your CloudDesktop 24x7x326. Our vendor’s CloudPortal Services Manager allows IT teams to manage their end user’s CloudDesktops in private Cloud Environment.

Call Connecticut Communications for a free analysis to see if CloudDesktop is right for your business.



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How Secure is the Cloud?

How Secure is the Cloud?

Coud security is a hot discussion topic these days. Security is one of the main reasons that many business leaders have been slow to adapt to the cloud. Keeping data on premises makes business and IT leaders feel more secure.

But lately there seems to be a shift—the cloud tipping point has arrived, and more companies are moving to the cloud to replace various on-premises technologies and services.

The truth is that the cloud offers many of its own security advantages—many of which are the same as on-premises storage technologies. Before you assume that the cloud isn’t safe, it’s worth taking a look at what’s available to you and evaluating the risks associated with moving to the cloud—particularly when doing so could provide serious benefits.

According to Corey Louie, the Head of Trust, Safety, and Security at Dropbox, the best solutions will serve as an extension of the network and security infrastructure that you already have in place. When deployed properly, cloud solutions can help SMBs and Enterprises achieve more agility and can help with cost savings.

If we specifically look at one cloud service—let’s take Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), one of the fastest growing markets in communications, the cloud can enable companies to:

  • Offload equipment costs 
  • Shift certain budgeting from a CAPEX to an OPEX model 
  • Simplify management and cost tracking 
  • Increase scalability 
  • Increase IT speed and agility 
  • Improve disaster recovery and business continuity

There are still those who hesitate when choosing the cloud, which is why it is important to understand what the security threats are, and how to approach security for a cloud-based technology or solution.


What are the risks?

In 2013, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) identified “The Notorious Nine,” the top nine cloud computing threats. The report reflects a consensus among industry experts surveyed by CSA, focusing on threats specifically related to the shared, on-demand nature of cloud computing.

These nine threats include:

  • Data Theft/Breaches
  • Data Loss
  • Account/Service Traffic Hijacking
  • Insecure Interfaces/APIs
  • Denial of Service
  • Malicious Insiders
  • Cloud Abuse
  • Insufficient Due Diligence

Physical theft, employee mistakes (like lost devices), and insider threats are responsible for 42.7% of 2013 data breaches in the United States, according to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. In another 29.6% of data breaches, hackers broke into data owned by companies and government agencies. Big tech companies, major retailers, and airlines were some among many 2013 victims.

Each year, Alert Logic, an IT services provider, publishes a semi-annual State of Cloud Security report, surveying their customers to understand from where security threats are coming.

The results are interesting:

  • An enterprise data center (EDC) is 4x more likely to suffer a malware/bot attack than a cloud hosting provider (CHP).
  • EDCs and CHPs are equally vulnerable to a “vulnerability scan” and a “brute force” hack. 
  • EDCs are 3x times more likely to suffer a recon attack and 4x an app attack. 

Cloud providers are 40% more likely to suffer a web app attack and 10% more prone to vulnerability scan weakness than an enterprise data center. In recons, malware, bot, and app attacks, the cloud seems to have less risk than most on-premises technologies.

According to Louie, the takeaway is not that cloud is better but that the risks are manageable. No one—regardless of their resources—is 100% secure.

What are the benefits?

Cloud-based technologies and services are not without their own security advantages. For many cloud service providers, there is a deep commitment to security—perhaps deeper than the media typically portrays. This commitment means a few, quite significant, things:

You get enterprise hardware for a small business price.

With cloud computing, your data is stored on enterprise-grade hardware, equipment that is typically unaffordable for most small and mid-sized businesses. By using the cloud for your business, you are upgrading to safer equipment.

You get more focused security.

For cloud vendors to succeed they need to focus on securing their service. This means that instead of attempting to prevent a variety of more general threats (as your in-house model would require) cloud vendors are free to (and great at) securing the one thing you want protected: your data online.

You get flexibility and agility.

Many IT organizations are stretched thin and struggle to balance day-to-day operations with strategic projects. One of the advantages of cloud services is the speed of deployment. Businesses have the flexibility to rollout cloud services without the IT time, and resource commitments typically associated with a legacy deployment model.

You get professional management.

Using the cloud to store data means that you get trained professionals managing your patch updates and keeping the server’s software up-to-date. Maintenance and support time are reduced since there is no longer a need to plan and implement system updates, and you can redeploy IT resources to more strategic initiatives to help advance the organization.

You get well-funded security.

Investing in top-level security features adds value to individual cloud service providers’ businesses. Investing in this way is a necessity for success. Businesses adopting cloud services gain the opportunity to put someone else’s financial resources to work, which can help take the sting out of security spending.

That deep commitment to security means that cloud service providers have to invest far more in scalable infrastructure and information security than do most organizations. Those investments are quite significant, and service providers will bear that burden for you. They can create economies of scale and efficiencies that benefit you.

Think about it like this: services like Dropbox go above and beyond to protect your data — so that you don’t have to invest heavily in secure systems and servers, constantly consider network and product security threats, submit to in-depth compliance reviews and audits, undergo regular testing against attacks, set up complex logical access controls, and assure data centers have advanced physical, environmental, and operational security measures.

The Cloud in Perspective: UCaaS

Hopefully, it’s clear why the cloud has some real advantages. Let’s take a quick look at UCaaS for a perspective on a unique cloud service.

The market for UCaaS is growing pretty rapidly. Among IT pros responding to a 2014 Spiceworks survey, 11% had adopted UCaaS. However, another 12% indicated they are planning to adopt it in the next year, more than doubling the number of people using UCaaS today.

This projected growth tracks consistently with the expectations of UCaaS market growth reported in 2013 by researchers at MarketsandMarkets. Their report on UCaaS projects that the global market will grow from $2.52 billion in 2013 to $7.62 billion by 2018, at an estimated CAGR of 24.8%.

Some suggest that developing confidence in hosted solutions in general is the impetus for the projected dramatic increase in adoption. Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research, has pointed out, “…more than 90% of companies now use software as a service (SaaS) applications.” Much of that confidence is due to the service providers’ dedication to security improvements.

Are you excited by the opportunities UCaaS presents to the communications market?

Security concerns shouldn’t hold you back from learning more. Check out the Reducing UC Costs and Increasing Business Performance whitepaper to take a deeper dive into the advantages of UCaaS, market drivers, concerns, and what to look for in a provider.

How to Choose a SaaS or Cloud Vendor

How to Choose a SaaS or Cloud Vendor

Choosing a cloud and SaaS vendor can be tricky for SMBs with small IT organizations and larger corporations looking to lower operating costs. There are many benefits to choosing cloud or SaaS over on-premises but the route to those benefits is not always risk-free

Difficulty vetting cloud or SaaS vendors is a common problem in today’s IT world. We see many organizations that continue to sweat older assets, having used on-premises software for many years. Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research, has pointed out, however, that more than 90 percent of businesses are starting to employ these technologies on some scale. 

Vetting cloud or SaaS vendors can be very easy if you take the right approach. Rather than simply taking trusting the vendor’s qualifications or what you’ve read/heard, you should validate each claim the vendor makes to ensure that they don’t overstate their capabilities.


Verification is the key to success when choosing a cloud or SaaS vendor. Here are our tips to help you make the comprehensive assessments needed to make the right choice.

Vetting the Business

You wouldn’t buy a car from a manufacturer you knew nothing about. The same should be said of a cloud or SaaS solution. When your business is thinking about adopting a new cloud or SaaS technology, its imperative that you vet the vendors’ businesses as well as their technology.

You need to ensure that their leadership is strong, their business model is sound, and that the firm has the financial stability to survive the stressors of the current economy. This stage is the time to ask the tough questions, and get real, specific responses in return. Keep pressing until you get a real answer, one that’s supported by policies and procedures. Questions like these can help you determine the viability of the business at large:

  • Do you have a burn rate where you are making less than you are spending? If so, how long is the runway where you can survive at this pace without new partners investing?
  • Is your leadership rounded and truly qualified? Do you have a technologist at the helm, and has he surrounded himself with the operational, financial and sales expertise to keep turning out great products and services?
  • How do you maintain accountability for your administrative staff in regard to the control and management of customer data within/and outside of your application? What security challenges might we face if we give you direct control over our sensitive or compliance-relevant data?
  • How do you address government regulations?
  • Can we adjust our services as the business evolves?
  • Where does my support come from (vendor, support partner, etc.)?
  • What will I really pay?

Vetting the Technology

Just like with the manufacturer situation stated above, you probably wouldn’t buy a car you hadn’t test driven or looked under the hood of either. In order to determine whether the products/services you’re vetting work properly, you’re going to need to get your hands dirty and test each cloud or SaaS product/service for yourself. Does the product/service have known glitches/issues? Will it fit into the environment(s) as expected? Will it work with all of your platforms and impacted software products?

Now is the time to get the engineers involved to assess the technologies behind the vendor and ensure that they are ready for your purposes. Again, specific instances and case studies will help provide proof points to the vendor’s claims. Questions like these can help determine the efficiency, security, and usability of the technology itself:

  • What role does customer input play when your company plans updates and enhancements?
  • Can I see the software/technology’s R&D roadmap? What other changes are planning for performance and usability? Is this investment actually future proof?
  • Can you describe your data center?
  • How do you define uptime and downtime?
  • How frequently do you test your disaster recovery procedures?
  • Do you have a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
  • How different is our current infrastructure from yours?
  • Can I move existing apps/services from my private cloud to your public cloud without massive reconfiguration?
  • How do you support my workforce’s mobility requirements?
  • How are my apps and data protected from other users on the same cloud servers?

Vetting the Technology

Let’s hit the car analogy one more time. You wouldn’t buy any car from any manufacturer if you weren’t going to get service and support to help you maintain the car over the course of its life.

So when vetting vendors, you need to ask point-blank if they are ready to handle you as a client. The only question that need to be asked during this phase is, “Can I speak with some of your customers?” Current customers are the best resources when it comes to determining whether the vendor’s product/service is on par with what you are expecting.

Don’t settle for the few they give you either. Look at trade shows and vendor events for customers that aren’t raving fans. Looking for non-specific issues can save you a lot of headaches in the future. Be skeptical, but open-minded. Knowing the issues that could arise will help you prepare for them in the future.

Vetting cloud or SaaS vendors can take up to 200 man-hours and could require some policy changes on your part. To do it right, though, you do need to assess more than the technology—you need to look at everything; the vendor’s business, technology, security, service, and employees. While it might seem like a bit of an undertaking, spending more time up front will save you headache and frustration in the end.

SaaS and Cloud in Perspective: UCaaS

Let’s take a quick look at a unique cloud and SaaS perspective: UCaaS.

Let’s say you aren’t ready for a full cloud deployment. You still have some reservations about the public cloud, and you have on-premises assets you want to continue to use. Research is actually beginning to show that “Hybrid Cloud UC Demands Unified Platform Management”. This is one of many cases where UCaaS makes sense.

The market for UCaaS is growing pretty rapidly. Among IT pros responding to a 2014 Spiceworks survey, 11% had adopted UCaaS. However, another 12% indicated they are planning to adopt it in the next year, more than doubling the number of people using UCaaS today.

Some suggest that growing confidence in hosted solutions in general is the impetus for the projected dramatic increase in adoption. Much of that confidence is due to the service providers’ dedication to security improvements.

We are excited about the opportunities UCaaS presents to the cloud and SaaS Markets.

Fear of vetting vendors shouldn’t hold you back from learning more. Check out the Reducing UC Costs and Increasing Business Performance whitepaper to take a deeper dive into the advantages of UCaaS, market drivers, concerns, and what to look for in a provider.

Connecticut Communications July 2015 Newsletter

Connecticut Communications July 2015 Newsletter

This month’s newsletter talks about Microsoft Office 365.  The Microsoft Office Suite of products; Excel, WORD, Powerpoint, Outlook is now available in the Cloud.  What does that do for you?  It enables you to access any of your Microsoft documents from any device, anywhere.

Add unified communications to Office 365 for more benefits.

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 – WORD, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and VOICE in the Cloud.

What version of Microsoft Office do you have, Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010?  With Office 365 you will always have the latest version because upgrades happen automatically. What can Office 365 do for you?

– No large upfront software expense 
– pay only low monthly fee per user.
– Files are automatically backed up.
– including email.
– Easily access files from any device.
– HD Video Conferencing
– Shared Calendar
– Share Files 

Connecticut Communications can help you install Office 365.

Server getting old?

Why purchase a new server when you can securely move all your files and applications to the Cloud?

Data Backup

Once per year, NEC releases a major software version. If you have NEC Software Assurance, and you do if you have a Connecticut Communications Maintenance Agreement, you automatically get the latest NEC software when we come out to perform your free annual maintenance inspection.



Our Maintenance customers enjoy free NEC software upgrades, free user training and phone carrier assistance.


Wireless Headset

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Video Surveillance

Keep track of your office surroundings with high resolution video cameras.  Watch live from your smartphone.

Unified Communications Consultant

Unified Communications Consultant

Every company needs technology in order to run their business.  And with technology comes the necessary infrastructure.  Voice and data cabling to each workstation provides workers with connection to the outside world for phones and computers.  Do you go with CAT5e, CAT6 or fiber?  The phone system needs phone lines, the computers need internet access.  That will require a voice carrier and, in some cases, a different carrier for internet.  Computers, do you install a premised based server on a Local Area Network, or do you subscribe to a Cloud service and get all your Microsoft licenses in the Cloud?  If you want to protect your business property you will also want video surveillance.  Smartphones and remote workers will require connection to the office from the outside, and it better be a secure connection so no one can steal your business secrets.


How does one go about finding all the pieces to this puzzle?  There are so many options out there, how do you know what is best for your business?

Let Connecticut Communications be your technology consultant, and we do it all for FREE.

Connecticut Communications represents all the major voice & internet carriers.  We can give you many different options and explain the pros and cons of each.  Should you go with copper analog lines, a PRI, or SIP Trunks?  For internet, is cable best, fiber, T-1 or a combination?  We also represent the best phone manufacturers, NEC and Star2Star.  We will explain what a hosted phones system is and if you should consider one.  IP phones, digital, or a hybrid of both?

Let the professionals at Connecticut Communications help you with your technology needs, the consultation and recommendations are free.  203-985-1000.