At the risk of violating an unwritten blogging code of conduct, I wanted to talk a little bit about CloudReady Insight, Exoprise’s flagship product, and why Total Cost of Ownership should only be one of the factors that determines whether an app should be moved to the cloud.
Almost every company that’s doing something in the cloud has an online calculator to help prospects determine the benefit of the cloud. These widgets provide some decent info, but not nearly enough to help an enterprise determine whether it truly makes sense to move a mission critical app like email to the cloud. I started Exoprise to give IT professionals real data about how their applications are being used, what application specific features and functions their users prefer, if their needs can be met by a cloud-based alternative — and which one is the best fit. We cover TCO (deeply) too, but combine it with an assessment of many less obvious, but arguably more important, user and application attributes.
CloudReady Insight is currently focused on analyzing Microsoft Exchange and helping businesses choose their next collaboration platform in the cloud. We analyze the hard stuff (storage, compute, assets, power and electric, license costs, etc.) and the soft stuff — the end-user usage and readiness for alternative platforms. Businesses spend a lot of money on their messaging systems; care and feeding them, upgrading them. Some estimates are that the cost per person per year is more than $350. But the decision to abandon on-premise systems can’t just be about cost. It has to take into account the way the organization currently works, how the systems are used and, ultimately, what is the right property to migrate to for the business and the end-users. This is why CloudReady examines application usage.
The following are some of the features that CloudReady Insight analyzes:
- Exchange specific features — do end-users use exchange specific features
- PIM specific features — are the end-users heavy users of Personal Information Manager features
- Calendaring — moving to a different calendaring system can be hard. Does your environment have power calendar users or real simple?
- Collaboration — are your end-users power internal collaborators or simple?
- External Collaboration — do your end-users collaborate externally with customers and partners. There are many advantages to using different collaboration platforms instead of email for these users.
We also analyze attachments, collaborators, frequencies, sizes, storage, bandwidth, etc. And we are adding metrics all the time. CloudReady™, itself, is miraculously delivered as an easy to deploy software-as-a-service that can be upgraded and made more intelligent all the time.
CloudReady Insight gathers these statistics by analyzing your messaging servers, your end-user mailboxes, public folders and 3rd-party software. The collection and storage of this data is secure and unobtrusive and completely controllable.
Understanding the TCO is important, but it’s just the beginning.