Why the Cloud Is Vital for Any Business, Big or Small

Surely you’ve heard of Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce and payment service catering to 300 million users in their home land, and plenty of other clients internationally. Their slogan is “Global trade starts here,” but soon they might have to update it to “everywhere,” if their latest developments are any indication.

This week, Alibaba launched its first U.S.-based cloud computing hub confirming its plans to pit itself against already-established giants like Amazon and Google. The reason? Alibaba knows it’s imperative to align their operations with strategically placed facilities when the doors to global business are wide open.

A data center right under the client’s nose

Towards the end of 2014 cloud computing and infrastructure was Alibaba’s fastest-growing business pillar, boosting sales by a massive 85 percent, which translated into an extra $58 million to their bottom line.

Photo by imgix on Unsplash

For a behemoth like Alibaba, expanding internationally means serious investments in additional hardware. Money clearly isn’t an issue, but latency concerns make it imperative to put a server farm right where the action is. This reduces costs and hassle for everyone doing business with the Asian e-commerce company, and ultimately spells higher figures for everyone.

Ethan Yu, who runs Alibaba’s Aliyun cloud division, tells Reuters that “international expansion is actually a company strategy in the coming few years.” He also says the group has set its sights on areas like the East Coast and the middle part of the U.S.

Customers habits

Reduced latency means a faster, more efficient business. This increases the customer count, which also means managing higher amounts of data. With a user base in the hundreds of millions, this means copious amounts of information.

It may sound like a problem at first but it actually translates into yet another perk: the more people use the service, the more you learn about consumer behavior, which enables you to better target your products to the right audience in the future. In a nutshell, clouds are problem solvers – even for their own problems.

We should know

Being your own boss data-wise poses tremendous advantages in every line of work. We should know. In the case of VoipNow, service providers run their IT infrastructure in the cloud with access to a million knobs they can tweak to perfectly tailor their communication and collaboration practices. It’s an infinitely more scalable and robust service, compared to on-premise PBX.

VoipNow further allows service providers to convert their old (hardware-based) solutions into a state-of-the-art software-based communications platform. Why purchase clunky hardware that will inevitably become irrelevant when the tide shifts and you need an extra button for your business? End users also benefit immensely from this scalability, being able to pay as they go while enjoying a level of flexibility that cannot be matched by traditional PBX.

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