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How we moved almost everything to the cloud: 5 lessons

Robert Lemos | May 4, 2011
In 2010, creative services firm Aquent moved even its custom ERP system to the cloud -- where most other key business apps such as e-mail were already running. The result: Better agility and IT spend slashed by 50 per cent.

"Without the replicated data, we still would have been able to recover, but in the meantime, our users is Europe would have been without a system," says Aquent's Hunter. "So what we gained was availability."


5. Agility also means the ability to move the office

As a staffing company with creative services clients, Aquent needs its offices to be near the creative centers of town. As those centers move, the company tends to shift its office space.

"Everything that the office does now — if you walk in and look at our agents, they are basically looking at screens and on headsets probably — all of that is channeled over an Internet link," Bolick says.

Having its essential business processes and office functions in the cloud allows the company to simplify the movement of offices, says Bolick. The company has moved nearly ten of the key applications that run its office to the cloud, including e-mail, video conferencing, fax and its business reporting system.

"It makes it comparably easy to move an office," he says. "We take a router and take the modem, plug it into a new location, and make some backend changes and we are ready to go."

Today, Aquent has nearly completely its cloud transformation. Its looking at replacing its remaining non-cloud application — a desktop productivity suite — but has decided to wait until that market has matured and its current licenses expire, Bolick says.


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