Recently, I was fortunate enough to sit down for a conversation (via Skype) with Michael Jackson (former Skype COO). Now a General Partner at Mangrove Capital Partners, a European investment firm that supports innovative entrepreneurship in information technology, Mr. Jackson is also a board member at ezeep. A young tech company, ezeep enables organizations to digitally outsource their print-infrastructure management with our cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Mr. Jackson and I discussed how modern businesses’ systems administration—specifically, basic infrastructural systems like telecommunications, email, database management, task management and now, with ezeep, print-infrastructure management—is all going the way of the cloud. Cloud-based software runs as a continuously updated service through the Internet.
The Office of the Future Is Today
This marks a radical shift from legacy enterprise software, which requires companies to buy massive servers and storage boxes to run it, as well as hiring tech staff devoted to the software’s management, as well as annual fees to the software provider. Traditional software is an extraordinarily costly, complicated all-or-nothing system, and it has made titans, such as SAP and Oracle, extraordinarily rich.
Today’s new systems management is cloud-centric, so that companies can selectively cherry-pick and combine the services that are best for them. And, instead of on-site maintenance, their basic-function systems can be outsourced to a team of development experts who can throw their resources at building the best system. It’s cheaper, better, faster.
While the Fortune 500 initially resisted the cloud shift, the fact that they’ve now signed on is clear indication that cloud-management of non-vital systems is, much more so than the office of the future, instead a contemporary reality of high-functioning workplaces.
For the Big Guys, for the Little Guys
An interesting aspect of SaaS is that it enables smaller companies, who typically pay a small per-person licensing fee monthly, to benefit from the same cloud services as enterprise clients. At ezeep, we have a particular penchant for systems management from cloud family.
For us, with a small team, it makes sense to outsource basic systems functions—in fact, if we built everything in-house, it would be a misallocation of precious development resources. We’d rather have our software engineers working on useful problems—like solving this enormous print-infrastucture equation, which will have a disruptive impact to transform a $120-billion printer industry. That’s far more interesting than developing a proprietary database-management system.
Yes, We Play Favorites
Our favorite cloud-stack cousins, those that serve our office on a daily basis, include Google Apps for Business, for our webmail provider, calendar, contacts and intra-office chat; Podio, founded by our friends in Copenhagen, and an extraordinary tool for team communication and project management; Salesforce, the world’s leading customer-relations management software; Skype, without whose voice-over-IP we couldn’t function (and without which I couldn’t call my grandmother, who’s based in small-town Texas); Box, for file management (and whose CEO is wicked-smart); Blossom, which is a godsend for our ship-happy development team; and, most lately, HubSpot, an all-in-one marketing software (which we’ve integrated with Salesforce) that should help make life easier for us ezeeps trying to create a well-oiled sales-and-marketing machine. Naturally, we use our own service for print-infrastructure maintenance.
The beauty of cloud services is simplicity and elegance–just access their web interface and let them happily hum along in the backdrop, serving you. It seems ezeep Investor and Board Member Michael Jackson thinks so, too. His forthcoming article, which will be released shortly on our company blog, is a rousing anthem devoted to the cloud.
Did you know that maintaining a functioning printer network costs small-to-medium businesses up to 6% of their annual overhead? Want to change that? Schedule a demo to learn how ezeep can transform how your organization prints today.