Upgrade In-House or Migrate to the Cloud?

Over the weekend, I received an invitation to a webinar about upgrading Microsoft’s Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 to the current SBS 2011 version.  Aimed at technology providers, the agenda is fairly straight forward … but troubling in how it exemplifies the problem with so many in-house solutions.

  • How to prepare clients and manage their expectations for a migration
  • What can go wrong and what to expect
  • Tools that will help you prepare for the migration
  • How to install Small Business Server 2011
  • The migration process
  • Using the Call Stack Window
  • How to remove Small Business Server 2003

While I agree with all of the topics and considerations, upgrading technology, particularly from one version of a product to a newer version, should not be this difficult.  And, in reality, migrating to new solutions need not be this difficult for most businesses.

For most small businesses, moving from Small Business Server to Google Apps for Business will be easier than upgrading Small Business Server in-house. Here is why:

  1. No need to add, replace, or upgrade hardware
  2. No need to upgrade Client Access Licenses (CALs) on every computer
  3. Dual delivery ensures zero data loss and little or no downtime
  4. Data migrates directly from server to cloud without complex data preparation procedures
  5. No need to also upgrade your email spam/virus protection — Postini is part of Google Apps
  6. No need to upgrade your email server backup solution — Message Archive & Discovery and/or enhanced backup services can be added instantly to your Google Apps domain
  7. No need to upgrade your mobile connections — Android, Blackberry, and iPhones integrate directly with Google Apps
  8. Easier remote access — your data is in the cloud, so you may no longer need your VPN, Citrix, or remote desktop service

While Google Apps for Business may not be the solution for every small business, it is a solution worthy of serious consideration.

Cumulus Global offers bundles that integrate Google Apps with value-add services to provide small businesses with a more complete and custom solution.  Click the links to learn more about Google Apps and the CumuluSuite for SoHo bundles.