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Viability of Cloud Computing

I am managing small business with 10 employees.  Entering customer purchade orders is the key acitvity.  Key applications used are Microsoft Acess 2003 DB and Quickbooks.  Current Windows Small Business Server 2003 is 6-years old.  I am debating whether I should purchase a new server and continue to maintain in house, or use a cloud service to host the applications.  I am looking for ways to reduce costs - so considering Cloud Computing.  Any suggestions and/or recommended cloud computing companies?
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MichaelDJ2000
Asked:
MichaelDJ2000
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Barry GillChief of StaffCommented:
plenty.
but you will have to assess what you are actually doing.
Netsuite has great financials and ok crm, salesforce.com has great crm and ok financials.
Microsoft have BPOS/Office 365, Google has google apps.

you can easily delivery everything for a 10 user org without owning a single piece of kit...
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MichaelDJ2000Author Commented:
Business model is pretty simple: Five days a week, 6 users enter customer purchase orders into a Microsoft Access database (we are considering upgrading to a SQL DB).  Financial folk use Quickbooks to do financials.  That's it,
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Barry GillChief of StaffCommented:
then do a price comparison between salesforce.com and netsuite. I think both of those will cater for your needs easily enough.
Office 365 is also due in Feb (otherwise sign up for BPOS now) and that will include your Exchange server as well as Sharepoint (if you want it) and your MS Office applications.
that means your whole business is run from the cloud - no more local infrastructure.
Get everyone netbooks, they can work from anywhere...
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shalomcCTOCommented:
the simplistic answer:
Assuming you can use the SalesForce group edition for 6 people entering orders, the nominal annual cost is $2000.
That is $6000 for 3 years at nominal value, or $4800 present value at 1% a month.
Can you get yourself a new server for less than that?

The whole answer:
When you move to the cloud you stand to gain a lot more than saving on a server.
you will have an always-available platform, with much higher availability than you will have in your current state.
you will have state of the art applications, with no upgrading fees.
you can focus your attention on running your business and not on managing irrelevant technical stuff like disk utilization and backups.
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Barry GillChief of StaffCommented:
well said ShalomC
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