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Small hosted solution options

Posted on 2013-10-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
We have a small customer looking for cloud options in hopes of reducing the cost of having a local server.  Current is a single server which is DC/File with less than 10gb of data.  Main concern is there is a small access database shared off of it.  Only 3 users.  Internet connection is good at about 30 down 5 up.  It can be increased.

Looking for suggestions.

Thank you
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Question by:hindsight
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Diverse IT earned 500 total points
ID: 39613623
Hi hindsight,

I'd recommend Office 365...it's really a no-brainer (nothing compares IMO). You'd have everything and more of what a File Server can offer in terms of functionality, security & collaboration in the cloud. Printing might be the only drawback but for 3 users who really care about a print server - any decent printer could handle queues from 3 users all day long. I personally like the Enterprise plans of Office 365 but you could get into Office 365 Small Business Premium for $12.50/user/mo. It would provide each user with:
Exchange - 50GB sized mailboxes with all functionality & access as an Enterprise Exchange box, including online archiving accessible via Outlook & OWA.
SkyDrive Pro - Simple file sharing with 25 GB of personal storage. Easily share files internally & externally and control permissions. It also syncs to your phone and desktop.
Office ProPlus - subscriptions for the latest releases of Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, OneNote & Lync
Mobile Apps - of Word, Excel, OneNote, Lync & SkyDrive.
Lync - Business-class IM to instantly communicate (file transfer, video & phone chat, meeting presentations) with the office in or out of the office...works great on smartphones too.
SharePoint to share & collaborate with anyone they need to inside or outside of the corp with rich permission-based, functionality throughout.
...and so much more.

If you didn't need Office ProPlus you could even get into the Office 365 Small Business at $5.00/user/mo. Additionally, you can get a 30-day free trial of Office 365 on my About me tab here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_5170946.html

Box is not even in the same league as Office 365 but for file sharing ONLY it is an ~OK alternative but they lack a massive amount of functionality IMO compared to Office 365 in just file sharing alone. Consider their Enterprise plans as they are the only plans that encrypt at-rest data opposed to in-transit encryption. This is especially important if there is compliance involved (HIPAA, PCI, etc.). However Box is far better than Drop Box or the like primarily for their lack of security (plus they always get hacked) and overall permission-based functionality is limited.

Let me know if you have any questions!
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by:masnrock
ID: 39613780
Office 365 is as good as it will get if you are going to keep the database in Access.  The SharePoint side would address almost all of your needs, and access online should handle the rest. But you need to actually test the database in the cloud and see if it would work as hoped. That will dictate next steps.
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by:hindsight
ID: 39616540
Google Apps for Business?
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Expert Comment

by:masnrock
ID: 39616597
Google Apps won't work, because of the Microsoft Access requirement. Actually, they don't even have a database offering. There might be a third party app that would help, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it when Microsoft has something that would work.
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by:Diverse IT
ID: 39619071
That is why I didn't mention them either.
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by:Diverse IT
ID: 39620834
Do you have any other questions I can help you with?
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