5 Reasons to Be Cloud – and Proud
In a previous blog post we discussed misconceptions that information professionals typically have about cloud computing. We went through some of the most common myths one by one, explaining why they're inaccurate and why, unfortunately, they persist even now among executives across various industries.
At Accusoft, we believe in the power of the cloud, and are committed to extending its functionality and flexibility to our customers. Let's break down some of the benefits that cloud computing can provide for you and your applications, and how Accusoft and other established companies have maximized its potential.
Benefit No. 1: Lower operating costs
Hard to get past this one, right? Any new initiative that helps rein in everyday expenses will likely motivate executives to try it, and cloud usage has indeed proven itself to be a cost-effective method for handling a company's data needs.
The most obvious area of savings is in hardware. Businesses can save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars annually by using the servers of a cloud provider rather than investing in their own equipment. This outsourcing also removes the need for on-site administrators, reducing payroll overhead and freeing up physical workspace. And it's eco-friendly, reducing energy consumption and helping to lessen the company's carbon footprint.
Prominent organizations are realizing all of these cost benefits. The Yamaha Corporation of America, Yamaha's division specializing in manufacturing musical instruments and audio/visual tools, decided to migrate most of its data operations to Amazon Web Services (AWS), an established provider that services Accusoft as well, in 2014. The company was pleased with the process and even happier about the end result: a projected savings of $500,000 per year due to its move to the cloud.
Here is where our customers really take notice when we suggest using PrizmDoc Cloud. We estimate that a Windows client executing between 120,000 and 240,000 monthly transactions while running PrizmDoc on its own servers will spend more than more $16,000 per month when capital expenditures (hardware) and operating expenditures (payroll, maintenance, etc.) are considered. The cloud version, conversely, costs less than $2,000 monthly with the same usage load, because of the advantages we mentioned.
Benefit No. 2: Enhanced data security
Though recent scares have made some wonder about the safety of corporate data which is handled externally, statistics show that cloud networks themselves have been consistently secure. In fact, many businesses have begun to see security as a major motivation for moving to the cloud in the first place, reasoning that safeguarding their sensitive data is better left to professionals.
An emerging approach is to combine the security features of a cloud services provider (such as highly-refined encrypting techniques) with a company's own security protocols to ensure the integrity of its data. One expert provides some pointers for implementing such a strategy in this helpful overview, which explains the basics of both encryption and cloud security.
Time Inc. is a firm believer in cloud security and AWS, closing down its own data centers and completely entrusting AWS with its massive database of customer information in 2015. The move was an enormous leap of faith for the media giant – which maintains personal data including 45 million credit cards used to purchase its print and digital products – but one made after extensive research about cloud services and their various providers. Just like Accusoft, Time made the decision to team up with Amazon and has seen that relationship prosper.
Accusoft's commitment to data integrity led to PrizmDoc Cloud earning a SOC 2 Type 1 certification for cloud computing services in June 2018. The designation, awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), was the result of PrizmDoc Cloud meeting key performance criteria in areas such as security, privacy and confidentiality. We're proud of this certification and consider it proof that our partnership with Amazon Web Services is benefitting everyone involved, most importantly customers of PrizmDoc Cloud.
Benefit No. 3: Ease of setup
And because cloud usage has become commonplace in recent years, competition has spurred these providers to expedite setting up client companies, such as Accusoft, on their networks. The competitors in this space range from the world famous (such as the industry's 'big three' of AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud) to smaller firms such as several profiled here several profiled here that can offer customized solutions based on a firm's particular needs.
General Electric has also made the most of Amazon's responsiveness, using AWS to host more than 2,000 applications by the end of 2017. The seamless transition has enabled the company to focus on its own evolution rather than the burden of operating infrastructure to support its products.
"Adopting a cloud-first strategy with AWS is helping our IT teams get out of the business of building and running data centers and refocus our resources on innovation," said Chris Drumgoole, GE's CTO and corporate vice president.
Accusoft's alliance with AWS means that our customers don't have to worry about the specifics of getting PrizmDoc Cloud deployed; they know that we and AWS have already done the work for them. And our PrizmDoc Cloud customer portal tells them all they need to know about their account once they're up and running, such as usage rates and educational material on our various subscription options.
Benefit No. 4: Flexible pricing programs
One great benefit of cloud access is that the connection is virtually always on, and can be used as much or as little as your usage dictates. Thus, companies who host applications in the cloud typically offer subscription options tailored to their customers' specific needs.
For instance, a governmental entity that processes millions of transactions is better off with a time-based subscription (monthly, yearly, etc.) featuring unlimited usage, whereas a smaller company would likely prefer to pay only for transactions as it needs them. In each case, the customer should have the autonomy to choose the best solution for its own usage.
The wealth of options can be confusing, of course, but generally the most important consideration is understanding your own needs. Channel Futures, a digital services industry authority, published this checklist for companies to review as they consider their cloud subscription options.
We created various PrizmDoc Cloud subscription types with this in mind. No two customers are the same, and thus no two will use the product in exactly the same fashion. So we offer pricing programs based on either time period or transaction volume, depending on which is more relevant for a particular user.
No matter where your organization falls in this spectrum, we have a plan that can suit your specific needs. Use this overview of our pricing programs, complete with a sliding scale to accommodate your anticipated transaction usage, to find the plan that's best for you (and look over the FAQ section at the bottom). Bear in mind that you can change plans as your needs evolve.
Benefit No. 5: Professional technical support
We mentioned how competition among the top SaaS providers (AWS, Microsoft, Google, etc.) has helped refine the cloud industry in terms of improved data security and quicker startup times for clients. Another example of this competitive effect is in customer support, a crucial area where providers are seeking separation from one another. AWS, for instance, has developed a multi-tiered approach to support, wherein customers can select a plan based on budget and level of usage.
And just as in the case of data security, synergy is often the key in providing complete technical support for cloud users. Companies who host applications in the cloud typically offer their own support team, and lean on their providers' technical specialists whenever server problems arise.
Thanks to this leveraging of support expertise, developers know they'll get the assistance they need to keep their apps working smoothly, with the process staying virtually invisible to their end users.
We pride ourselves on providing the best possible customer support experience whenever help is needed. Our technical support professionals have a comprehensive knowledge of PrizmDoc Cloud, routinely answering questions and offering tips to make sure our customers (and their applications) get the most out of the product.
This commitment is evidenced by the Accusoft support group's high Net Promoter score, a tech industry standard for measuring customer satisfaction. Our team earned a cumulative score of 44 (versus an industry average of 32) in early 2018, up from 43 the previous quarter, and we've consistently been above industry averages since 2016. We're always educating our support staff on PrizmDoc and our other development tools, proving that an investment in any of our products is just the beginning of your relationship with Accusoft
PrizmDoc Cloud: A viewing toolkit for the future
The benefits detailed above are all a part of PrizmDoc Cloud, the SaaS-based version of our document and image viewing API toolkit, and help it create a dynamic, intuitive user experience in applications.
You may already know at least a bit about PrizmDoc itself. Its versatility and ease of integration into apps make it a leader among document viewing options for developers. We've always given our customers the option to self-host PrizmDoc on their own servers, but we're excited to help them learn about the possibilities of deploying PrizmDoc Cloud, which combines this powerful toolkit with all the advantages of using the cloud.
We recommend PrizmDoc Cloud over self-hosting because no matter what your company does, or what functionality your applications provide to end users, using the cloud can save you time, money and headaches for years to come. Its surge in popularity among organizations of all types proves the cloud has already become an indispensable part of any long-term IT strategy.
Be cloud – and proud
PrizmDoc Cloud combines the power of a complete suite of API-based web services with the many benefits of working in the cloud that we expanded upon here. Contact us with your questions or comments about this unique toolkit, or learn more about the versatility of the PrizmDoc product itself by trying out our demos here.