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Hats Off to the Cloud: A Personal Cloud Success Story

Thanks to the cloud, what should have been a knockout punch didn’t faze me

Whenever the issue of cloud computing is brought up in business circles, I get a range of responses.

There are the eyes-wide-with-wonder folks, the people who truly enjoy and embrace new technology and for whom the cloud is the next great mystery they are waiting to see revealed.

Then, there are the middle-of-the-roaders, the people who see cloud computing as an extension of the Web and software-as-a-service, and are willing to take the marketing buzzwords in stride to realize new benefits.

Finally, there are the scrooges. These are the people for whom cloud computing is nothing more than an extension of the Web, which in turn is nothing more then an extension of whatever was before, and therefore all of this has been around for years and the only thing new is the marketing.

I’m not going to place a value judgment on who is wrong and who is right. There is no need for that simply because there is enough case study and actual value realizations by companies to have a solid sense of the value of cloud computing.

In the past, I’ve always re-told my customers stories to explain the value. These customers have quickly deployed great business software customized heavily to their needs and at an affordable price.

However, I received a one-two punch recently that could have set back some other business executive who wasn’t cloud-enabled. Here is my personal cloud success story:

First, we made the decision to move our office; I signed the lease last week. I sat down to think about how we will migrate our business from point A to point B. I thought of all the services that could create problems or cause us to incur downtime: e-mail, telephone, data center, accounting, files, shared files, customer relationship management software, project management software, fax capabilities, among other things.

But as I went through each of those critical functions I came to a startling realization: Because we’re a cloud-enabled company, there was literally zero work to do for any of those systems. They are all cloud-enabled, which means that after we move, we will continue to use them just like any other service. We access all of these things via the Internet.

And that’s when I got hit with the second part of the one-two punch. My laptop died. So here I am moving my office, and my laptop on which I do all of my work was gone.

That should have been the nail in my productivity coffin. But, again, the cloud came to the rescue. My e-mail, many of my critical files, projects, schedules and much more are all available simply by logging in via a different computer. I can access my accounting records, my bank files, our research and development schedule, my personal calendar and so much more simply by using a different Web browser.

In fact, I’m sitting here writing this blog with one foot in the old office, one foot in the new office and with my laptop being serviced somewhere else. And quite honestly, I’m not feeling concerned or impeded in any way.

Thanks to the cloud, what should have been a knockout punch didn’t faze me, and therein is real value.

How do you use the cloud?

Treff LaPlante is president and CEO of Carlisle-based WorkXpress.

This was originally posted on the Central Penn Business Journal Gadget Cube.

More Stories By Treff LaPlante

Treff LaPlante has been involved with technology for nearly 20 years. At WorkXpress, he passionately drives the vision of making customized enterprise software easy, fast, and affordable.

Prior to joining WorkXpress, Treff was director of operations for eBay's HomesDirect. While there, he created strategic relationships with Fortune 500 companies and national broker networks and began his foray into the development of flexible workflow software technologies. He served on the management team that sold HomesDirect to eBay.

During his time at Vivendi-Universal Interactive, Treff was director of strategy. In addition to M&A activities, Treff broadly applied quantitative management principles to sales, marketing, and product line functions. Treff served as the point person for the management team that sold Cendant Software to Vivendi-Universal. Earlier positions included product management and national sales trainer for Energy Design Systems, an engineering software company. Treff began his professional career as a metals trader for Randall Trading Corp, a commodities firm that specialized in bartering and transporting various metals and coal from the then-dissolving Soviet Union.

Treff received his MBA from Pepperdine University and a BS in chemical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. http://www.workxpress.com

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