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The Cloud and Business Continuity

During the current crisis, businesses across the world are putting their continuity plans into action.  With large numbers of the work force being forced to stay at home, it is vital to allow employees to work from home.  In this modern age, it is simpler for employees to do this using communication tools such as video chat (Skype, Teams, Slack).  But what about businesses that rely on infrastructure embedded into their core locations – such as call centres and offices with large desktop estates?

Cloud

Here are some of the ways the cloud can help your business continue working through these challenging times…

Amazon WorkSpaces (Desktops)

Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution. You can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe.

With Amazon WorkSpaces, your users get a fast, responsive desktop of their choice that they can access anywhere, anytime, from any supported device.

This service from Amazon allows users to access their Desktops as if they were sitting in their office using it in real time.  Managing these desktops is made easier by eliminating the complexity in managing hardware inventory, OS versions and patches.  Additional benefits include:

  • Reduce Costs – Amazon WorkSpaces eliminates the need to over-buy desktop and laptop resources by providing on-demand access to cloud desktops that include a range of compute, memory, and storage resources to meet your users’ performance needs.
  • Central Management and Scaling – Amazon WorkSpaces is available in 13 AWS Regions and provides access to high performance cloud desktops wherever your teams get work done. You can manage a global deployment of many thousands of WorkSpaces from the AWS console. And you can rapidly provision and de-provision desktops as the needs of your workforce change.
  • Keep your data secure – Amazon WorkSpaces is deployed within an Amazon Virtual Private Network (VPC), provide each user with access to persistent, encrypted storage volumes in the AWS Cloud, and integrate with AWS Key Management Service (KMS). No user data is stored on the local device. This helps improve the security of user data and reduces your overall risk surface area.
In fact Amazon themselves use this technology to allow their workforce to work remotely from anywhere in the world, leveraging their personal devices to securely carry out IT operations.  Amazon implemented their remote working programme to quickly scale up to 25,000 users globally, whilst saving $17 million.

Amazon AppStream 2.0 (Applications)

Amazon AppStream 2.0 is a fully managed application streaming service. You centrally manage your desktop applications on AppStream 2.0 and securely deliver them to any computer. You can easily scale to any number of users across the globe without acquiring, provisioning, and operating hardware or infrastructure.

So whereas Amazon WorkSpaces is focused on delivering an entire Desktop solution, AppStream caters for a more decoupled approach – delivering individually applications to users through a web browser.  This technology allows businesses to:

  • Deliver Desktop application to any computer – AppStream 2.0 streams your applications from AWS to any computer, including Chromebooks, Macs, and PCs.
  • Scale without infrastructure – AppStream 2.0 is fully managed on AWS and globally available with pay-as-you-go pricing. You can easily scale your application streaming to any number of users across the globe without acquiring, provisioning, and operating hardware or infrastructure.
  • Secure Application and data – Applications and data are not stored on users’ computers. Your applications are streamed as encrypted pixels and access data secured within your network.
  • Provide a fluid and responsive user experience – Each user’s applications are highly responsive because they run on VMs optimized for their use cases.
  • Centrally manage applications – Each user accesses the same version of your applications. You centrally manage your applications on AppStream 2.0 and can stop managing installations and updates on each user’s computer.
  • Integrate with your I.T. – AppStream 2.0 connects to your Active Directory, network, cloud storage, and file shares. Users access applications using their existing credentials and your existing security policies manage access. Extensive APIs integrate AppStream 2.0 with your IT solutions.

 

Amazon Connect (Call Centres)

Over ten years ago, Amazon began looking for a contact centre solution to support their own business – however, after extensive searching, they couldn’t find anything suitable…so they built their own.  Today Amazon utilises Connect to deliver a fast, customer-focused experience to their customers all around the globe.

Designed from the ground up to be omnichannel, Amazon Connect provides a seamless experience across voice and chat for your customers and agents. This includes one set of tools for skills-based routing, powerful real-time and historical analytics, and easy-to-use intuitive management tools – all with pay-as-you-go pricing, which means Amazon Connect simplifies contact centre operations, improves agent efficiency, and lowers costs. You can set up a contact centre in minutes that can scale to support millions of customers.

Amazon Connect allows businesses to

  • Make changes in minutes, not months – Making changes is easy with an intuitive UI that allows you to create voice and chat contact flows, without any coding, rather than custom development that can take months and cost millions of dollars.
  • Save over 80% compared to traditional contact centres – With Amazon Connect you pay only for the time you spend interacting with customers, plus any associated telephony and messaging charges. With Amazon Connect there are no minimum monthly fees, long-term commitments, upfront license charges, and pricing is not based on peak capacity, agent seats, or maintenance.
  • Easily scale to meet unpredictable demand – With Amazon Connect you can scale your contact centre up or down to any size, onboarding tens of thousands of agents in response to normal business cycles or unplanned events. As part of the AWS cloud, you can support your customers by accessing Amazon Connect from anywhere in the world in a secure, reliable, and highly scalable way. Agents and managers just need a supported web browser and an internet connection to engage with customers from anywhere.

In Summary…

Amazon has a variety of solutions to let your business continue to function whilst employees work from home.  All of these solutions scale automatically to meet business demand and are on a pay as you go pricing model.

There is no upfront commitment in terms of licensing or provisioning hardware to get staff up and running.  You only pay for the time you use it, which makes these services perfect for short projects or introductions to cloud-based offerings.

Mobilise are already helping businesses with services like Amazon Connect and Workspaces to enable staff to work from home. If you would like a chat about how Mobilise can help your business, please get in touch.

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