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Clearing the cloud for the enterprise

T.C. Seow | June 10, 2013
Whether an organisation can afford to continue to rely on its own IT setup and skill-sets alone, or move towards realising operational and cost benefits through cloud computing is moot—they have to in order to remain agile, lean and competitive

The dividends from your adoption of cloud computing will be to transform your organisation's business responsiveness, he said. Cloud solutions drive a responsiveness transformation hard because they empower IT pros to deliver more solutions faster—and keep innovating.

They also help standardise workloads to simplify decision-making about new investments and their implementation. "They also help revise a CIO's base of technology and skills to emphasise fast, flexible business action, and move CIOs to dynamic cost management to match expenditures to business priorities and results," Rymer said.

Driving business via private cloud
Hong Kong-based Midland Holdings is one of the honourees in the 2013 CIO 100 list. It implemented a private cloud infrastructure to enable thin-client architecture and enterprise mobility service to help raise productivity and competitiveness in the market.

"The core business of Midland Holdings is real estate agency," said Francis Fung, chief technology officer. "A people-oriented business, it is rebuilding its hardware and software infrastructure, and investing in retraining its people, to realise its aim to be the leading real estate agency in Hong Kong."

According to Fung, there are a few "firsts" in this project. One is a fully resilient data network with over 500 branch locations leveraging the core MPLS network with a broadband VPN (over WiFi) network as the secondary support for the core business operations.

The second is the implementation of a Cisco IP Phone System in the branches, which is the largest installation in the industry with respect to the number of stations and locations.

Third is Midland's instant messaging app that connects the frontline with prospective and existing customers. Said Fung; "All the front-line sales install the in-house developed mobile app, named Midland Messenger, which communicates internally with co-workers and externally with customers. Customers can download the public mobile app to find properties of interest, send an instant message to the front-line sales for enquiry, or make an appointment for viewing."

Fourth is a custom cloud storage app that enables all the staff to save their commonly used documents in Midland's private cloud, access shared information and print document via any of the 800+ printers within the corporate network.

"Deploying user-friendly apps to internal employees and to both potential and existing customers are critical to stay ahead of competition," Fung added. "The success of this project would revolutionise the way of doing business in the industry in the region. Further integration with the custom enterprise apps, telephone, mobile and data network can be logically mixed. One example is sales opportunity comes in from web or incoming calls or emails, with the appropriate information routing, the right message can be conveyed to the right person whenever, however and wherever he or she is."


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