The effect of pay-as-you-go pricing on the Enterprise Application market


C24 Ent Apps Blog 2 - Pricing

Subscription pricing is becoming a standard feature of many modern cloud based enterprise applications, further narrowing the gap between enterprise and consumer applications.  Whilst companies may investigate a range of options about where to house their IT for maximum cost savings, most agree that software-as-a-service offerings reduce time, money and resources when it comes to managing the ongoing application upgrades and underlying hardware.  For instance, Toyota brought a large amount of IT infrastructure back in house, but chose to capitalise on the savings offered by many software-as-a-service applications that enable the delegation of the software and hardware upgrades to the SAAS vendor.

The availability of enterprise applications under a pay-as-you-go model means that the playing field has been levelled for many smaller companies who previously could not afford the upfront licence costs – now startups and SMBs have the ability to access enterprise functionality and change perceptions about how applications should work for them.

As cloud technology matures and becomes more accepted at the corporate and enterprise level, larger businesses are also experimenting with non-traditional approaches that enable them to access subscription based pricing – without needing to go through layers of finance sign offs that may be required for high-cost capital purchases.  Many are now utilising cloud based services such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure Cloud to deliver reliable infrastructure services on demand with lower costs of entry than would be available years ago.  This also delivers a benefit for software developers who may not have previously had the capital available to build expensive infrastructure platforms on which to house their software; they can now enter the market at a lower developmental cost and bring products to consumers faster.

But it isn’t just startups and disruptors who are delivering their solutions via subscription models.  The majority of the mature enterprise application vendors all have their own software-as-a-service offerings to meet the demands of a changing consumer market.  Oracle has reported that revenues from new software licences have dropped by 17% whilst at the same time revenues from their cloud services have increased by 29% in the same period, showing the shift in the market as vendors pivot to match client demand.

 

 

If you are interested in knowing more about the consumerisation of enterprise applications then read our whitepaper on “The Consumerisation of Enterprise Applications”.

 

 

Image provided courtesy of Mighty Travels.

7 Reasons Why Our Legal Clients Are Choosing Managed Hosting For Their Practice Management System


More and more legal firms are choosing to deploy their core Practice Management Systems via the cloud or on managed hosting, rather than choosing the traditional route of keeping IT infrastructure onsite.  At one time, no one would have considered risking putting their central PMS out to an external hoster – but now it is becoming the norm.

As experienced hosters of a range of Practice Management Systems, what are we seeing as the main reasons firms are choosing to host their Practice Management Systems with a cloud or hosting provider?

 

1. Security

If C24 was running for government, our motto would be “Security, security, security”.  You can never be too careful when it comes to the security of your Practice Management System, as it contains key information needed for your firm to operate.  The security of many hosting providers now outstrips that of traditional in-house datacentres which is why many firms are realising that it’s not only cheaper to run their PMS system externally, it’s also more secure.  How many legal firms have a datacentre that has 24/7 security guards patrolling, highly secure perimeter fencing and strict access policies and guidelines at all times?

2. Multi-location capability

Cloud offers firms more options and flexibility when it comes to organisations who have multiple office locations.  Having servers located in house may work well for a one office firm, but if you need the same resources to be consumed by multiple branches then it can become problematic for IT teams to put in place a solution that is secure and accessible to all users.  Hosting centres can act as the central hub for firms who need everyone on the same page from an IT perspective, but don’t have their own centralised datacentre facility.

3. Choice of suppliers to match your size and scale

Cloud and hosting providers come in many different sizes, shapes and forms – from SAAS players to traditional infrastructure hosting providers.  The beauty of this means that firms have an extensive choice when deciding on the right provider for them, compared to buying hardware from a multinational corporation where the legal firm may be a small company in comparison.  Legal organisations can now choose a supplier who is similar to them in terms of size and scale, whilst leveraging the hosting provider’s own vendor and software relationships.  This works particularly well for firms who may not have a large central hub, but instead consist of a number of smaller branches working together.

4. Software is starting on the cloud, not ending up there

The benefits of cloud for Practice Management Systems is not just being realised by consumers but also by suppliers.  Many software vendors are choosing to develop their solutions straight onto cloud platforms and for some providers it is their only go-to-market strategy.  This is due to the lower entry costs and the ability to offer a more holistic solution to customers.  For legal firms, this means that apps now don’t have to be specially ported and changed to suit the cloud, they are often already optimised for hosted delivery.

5. Real partnerships are becoming more valuable as technology gets more complex

As technology solutions become ever more complex, the value of a trusted tech partner is increasing for legal firms – who require providers to act as an extension of their internal IT teams.  Rather than operating a traditional supplier-customer model for hardware, firms are recognising the benefits that partnering with a hosting provider can bring over the long term – opening them up to new technology options and considerations alongside leveraging other tech solutions across the industry.  Firms can now consume services from a ‘community’ of suppliers who collaborate to offer wider, legal sector specific solutions.

6. Interoperability and integration with other apps becoming more important

Cloud offers a level of standardisation – after all if multiple apps need to sit side by side on a platform, however proprietary the architecture, there must be an element of standardisation in place.  This means that firms can consume other applications alongside their PMS solutions, all delivered through the cloud or under one contract.  And certain hosting providers, like C24, offer firms the opportunity to outsource the entire infrastructure layer to their external hosting centres, leaving internal IT teams free to focus on business-specific activities rather than hardware support and monitoring.

7. Mobile users don’t miss out

Another feature of hosting solutions is the ability to be accessed from anywhere, usually from just a web login or via a remote desktop service.  As more employees work from home and offices become an expensive resource, firms are looking for solutions that align with their mobility strategies, and cloud is often the perfect choice.

 

Did we miss anything out?  What would make your legal firm choose cloud over in-house deployment?

 

 

Should You Risk Your ERP With The Cloud?


How would you feel about putting a mission critical application up in the cloud?  Should all business critical apps remain on premise?  What about ERP – an application that is often the centre of a business’ operations.  Should you risk your ERP system with the cloud?

 

What are the concerns you may have about putting your ERP application into the cloud?

Downtime

Many organisations worry that their IT systems may experience periods of downtime if they are hosted centrally by a public cloud provider – maybe due to being hosted in multi-tenant environments where other tenants can disrupt your own systems or because of strains on connectivity during busy times.  This is obviously a critical issue for organisations who are deploying ERP into the cloud as uptime and availability is key to the smooth running of the business.

Loss of data

How do you know where your data is when it’s in the cloud?  What happens if there is an outage – will your data be lost?  How can you be sure that your information is secure, especially if it holds sensitive customer information from your ERP application?  Data security is an important consideration and maybe the top reason why organisations choose to retain their ERP solution in house rather than put it out to the cloud.

Security

Deploying your ERP solution into the cloud means relinquishing an element of control – whether that’s over all parts of the application or just elements of the hardware layer.  If your hosting provider is in control of your entire ERP system, then how can you be sure that your application is in safe hands and is secure at all times?  How do you know that other hosting clients cannot gain access to your systems?  What are the risks in the event of a cyber-attack?

 

Unfortunately, these issues are also prevalent with onsite, in-house ERP deployments – and sometimes can be riskier than being deployed into a secure, hosted cloud environment.  It obviously depends on your cloud hosting vendor and the way in which they deploy, manage and control their datacentre and IT systems, however let’s look at how C24’s hosting datacentre compares with traditional onsite IT deployments.

Downtime:

C24’s systems are designed to provision against downtime, which is why many of our customers have solutions deployed across both of our Midlands based hosting centres for maximum resiliency in the event of downtime.  The data is all backed up so even if the worse should happen and our datacentres are affected, we can be sure that we have mitigated as much as possible the risk of data loss.

Loss of data:

C24’s datacentres are built to have secure partitions between different clients, so no tenant can access another tenant’s systems.  We have comprehensive backup solutions in place to guard against data loss, and our ERP hosting infrastructures are designed to cope with intensive, mission critical application workloads that produce huge amounts of information.  We run our hosting on enterprise class storage infrastructure, making costly enterprise technology available to a wider audience who would not usually be able to purchase the infrastructure themselves.  And we also offer dedicated and shared options to customers, depending on the level of separation they require from other hosted tenants.

Security:

Do you have guards manning your datacentre 24/7?  Do you have monitored perimeter fences around your DC sites?  Do you have a comprehensive access policy to your datacentres that requires advance booking and pre-identification checks for all visitors?  We do.  We’re not boasting or trying to prove a point, but highlighting that in many cases companies are concerned about the level of security involved in deploying applications in the cloud, but often don’t critically assess the level of security at their own sites – from access policies, through to datacentre security and general systems security to protect against non-authorised employee access to IT.  That’s why we think our hosted ERP solutions are the safest choice available for customers searching for a more flexible approach to ERP delivery.

Top 5 Things NOT To Do When Deploying Cloud ERP


Many organisations are re-evaluating their ERP strategy and, quite rightly, are recognising that cloud could be an enabler for better business operations, whilst potentially being cheaper and more cost-effective.

As an ERP hosting provider ourselves, the team at C24 regularly sees clients who are looking at how to best leverage cloud for their new ERP platforms.  But we also come across many who have jumped into a cloud ERP solution that either doesn’t work from the beginning, or quickly creates problems for the business when it fails to integrate well.

That’s why we’ve put together the “Top 5 things you SHOULDN’T do when deploying ERP in the cloud” to give you some ideas about what to avoid when evaluating cloud ERP for your business.

DON’T…

1.    Expect a Mini to drive like a Jeep.

Very often, organisations get stung by cloud solutions because they choose the ‘wrong’ cloud service for the job.  Like cars, every cloud make, model and version is different, and each is attuned to solve a different IT challenge.  Getting it wrong means you end up with a solution that isn’t fit for purpose.

Because ERP permeates throughout the entire business’ operations, it is important to get the right cloud for the job from the start.  This is unlikely to be a low-cost, public cloud, multi-tenant, scale-out environment.  ERP relies heavily on the ‘grunt’ of the infrastructure beneath it, so the technology needs to be up to the job.

 

2.    Look for the lowest cost solution.

In an ideal world, ERP cloud hosting would be as cheap as web or email hosting.  However, it rarely is.  Hoping to drastically cut your ERP costs by moving your onsite infrastructure to the cloud is perhaps a little unrealistic, so setting expectations early on about the true cost of cloud ERP hosting is key – and your ERP or hosting provider should be able to do this.

Being aware of the costs enables you to understand how other cloud services can be offered at such a low cost; usually the result of infrastructure being shared by many customers at once, or by security levels being lower than mission critical environments.

If you can afford to risk the uptime or security of your ERP estate then a lower-cost public cloud option may be suitable.  But if like most businesses you need a good degree of certainty when it comes to your business’ central operations, then looking for a more robust and comprehensive solution is key.

 

3.    Think that one supplier can do it all.

Some cloud ERP suppliers offer an all in one, software-as-a-service model that may be perfect for businesses with simplified operations.  However, the companies we usually work with tend to have complex systems, spanning manufacturing, invoicing, and customer services – that all need to be integrated into the new ERP solution.

The team at C24 always works with ERP vendors or specialist resellers to craft a holistic solution for our customers – if we did it all in house we just wouldn’t be able to retain the levels of knowledge about individual ERP applications that our ISV partners have, and likewise they wouldn’t be able to deliver the expertise around the hosted infrastructure and analytics layer that C24 can.  Choosing a partnership that has been tried and tested instead of selecting one supplier who is a specialist at just the ERP application layer is a surer way of making a safe choice when it comes to your cloud ERP deployment.

 

4.    Be the client and the project manager at once.

We have found that every ERP deployment is different, with its own nuances and idiosyncrasies.  This has given us a wealth of knowledge when it comes to new ERP projects that we can draw on, alongside our partners.  Trying to reduce costs by going it alone can prove costly in the long run – as project timescales for ERP projects can quickly slip into years, if not managed well.

Trusting a proven supplier or consultancy to project manage your deployment is a good step – however it’s also important to make sure that all parties involved (consultancies and suppliers) can work well together and communicate.

 

5.    Buy an off-the-shelf product for a not so off-the-shelf company.

Unfortunately, ERP projects aren’t simple.  We can tell you that from experience.  Because the ERP system touches almost every part of a company’s operations, projects have to be delivered with precision and care to mitigate risk at all stages.

Sometimes clients purchase an off-the-shelf product with the aim of driving standardisation throughout their business, and that is a great aim.  However, if your business and IT isn’t ready for standardisation, due to the way you invoice, or the way that your clients require orders to be handled or processed etc., then that shiny new off-the-shelf product isn’t able to deliver the change you need.

Instead, working with specialist ERP providers who can tailor solutions to you, whilst also building in a roadmap of how to better standardise current ERP operations so that you can achieve that level of simplification you desire, is a much safer way to drive consistency throughout your organisation.

 

Hopefully that’s provided some thinking points about what to avoid when deploying ERP solutions in the cloud.  Can you think of anything we have missed?

 

Which cloud model is the right choice for your core practice management applications?


By David Ricketts and Carrie Morgan*

With governance, security and data residency being among the top focus areas for IT managers, you could think that cloud just wouldn’t work for the legal sector. Yet, firms are becoming increasingly comfortable with experimenting with cloud services for different tasks and non-critical applications. As hosting services become more mature and the cloud suppliers develop more awareness of the importance of data residency and security guidelines, firms are now able to look at deploying cloud services across their entire business; even underpinning their core practice management systems.

Now, legal IT managers are focusing on how they can harness the flexibility that cloud gives them, whilst bringing more governance and control back into their firms. It can be a complex minefield of different cloud models to sift through in order to find the perfect fit for your firm, and many organisations choose to avoid the cloud altogether due to the complexity involved in selecting a supplier.

In this article, we are going to look at the different cloud models that legal firms can consider for their core practice management platforms – and what is best suited to a legal organisation. At C24, we created a suitability matrix – highlighting what type of cloud model performed best for different requirements (i.e. security, service management, availability). We will now share the findings of this study with you.

Private On-Premise Cloud

A private on-premise cloud is a traditional onsite infrastructure, that has been built and designed to provide a shared resource pool of hardware within your own organisation (i.e. shared storage over dedicated storage, virtualised machines centrally managed) with a strong focus on the automation of infrastructure provisioning. The IT department acts as an IT service provider back into the business.

Pros:
– An on-premise private cloud can be tailored to your exact needs, creating a bespoke solution that an infrastructure provider can design and integrate into your existing IT environment.
– The infrastructure will not be shared with other organisations to reduce the risk of performance or security impact.
– If you need increased resiliency, you can build in your own provisions to the solution for disaster recovery, higher levels of connectivity, and define your own SLAs.
– Once the up-front investment is made, you can sweat the assets for as long as they are supported or functioning.

Cons:
– With an on-premise private cloud, security can often be lower than what you would expect from a purpose-built datacentre from a hosting provider. Many local datacentres consist of a server room within an office which doesn’t have the security of fireproof datacentres, with armed guards and stringent access control policies.
– Flexibility in the short term will be higher, but once you have used the capacity and reached the performance ceiling of your solution you will have to pay for upgrades – and the platform may not even have the capability to be upgraded.
– If the infrastructure or software supplier chooses to discontinue support for your solution, you are forced into refreshing your IT sooner than you had planned.
– The management and monitoring of the platform is your problem – the day to day management and support falls to the IT team.

Hosted Private Cloud

A hosted private cloud is a dedicated compute, storage and networking resource, hosted by a cloud provider. The solution is tailored and built to the client’s requirements, rather than being a standardised service within a multi-tenant environment as typically offered by Public cloud providers.

Pros:
– Hosting providers tend to have high levels of datacentre security as the datacentres they operate and host within are purpose built for delivering enterprise, secure hosting to clients.
– When you work with a trusted hosting provider, you are working with an organisation whose core business activity is delivering hosted IT.
– Having a private cloud hosted with an expert provider gives you the benefit of a dedicated environment that has been built to your needs within a specialist hosting centre.
– The management, monitoring and support is relatively low-touch from your side as this is left to the hosting provider to look after your IT environment.
– With a private cloud model, you have more control to define SLAs, connectivity requirements and data security and residency.
– Your data is located where you need it to be.

Cons:
– Deploying a hosted private cloud solution takes longer than deploying adhoc services with a Public Cloud provider (such as email services, web-hosting).
– Public cloud has more flexibility to scale services on the fly, and you have the ability with many public cloud solutions to self-provision compute resource through a web-based tool.
– Private cloud hosting will inevitably be more expensive than multi-tenant public cloud services due to economies of scale.

 

Public Cloud

The public cloud space encompasses larger providers who offer multi-tenant solutions to clients, often located outside of the UK. Services are usually standardised and commoditised with little room for tailoring to firm’s specific IT environments. Examples of Public Cloud providers are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Pros:
– Costs for multi-tenant services are low and typically have low set up costs also.
– Services are easy to set up and activate – often just requiring a login and credit card.
– Public cloud is often flexible for easy scaling and can offer the ability to self-provision services.
– By its nature, Public cloud is a scalable model within which the mainstream providers operate vast datacentres with lots of available room for clients to grow into.

Cons:
– Costs for services can escalate when enterprise features are added on; such as disaster recovery, security, backup elements, performance guarantees.
– Multiple cloud accounts across the organisation can be difficult to manage; especially as departments start to procure cloud services outside of IT’s control. This can result in Public Cloud sprawl throughout the firm.
– Security can be an issue for legal firms who need to know where their data is located and held. Also there are many data governance issues about how to take back data from a public cloud provider once the service has ended, all of which need to be considered carefully.

 

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud shares resources between your on-premise infrastructure, and your cloud provider (be that Public or Private). This could mean having onsite mission critical applications deployed locally, and specific applications hosted in the cloud and consumed within a software-as-a-service model.

Pros:
– Provides you with the level of control you want – if you require more control then you can retain more services in house, or if you want less control then you can tip the balance and put more services to the cloud.
– There is more flexibility to grow as you can expand your Public Cloud and Private Cloud services whilst still having core solutions onsite in your datacentre.
– Performance can be high when and where you need it – you can cope with spikes in performance by consuming more services from the cloud at busy times and scale back down to your local infrastructure during quiet periods.
– If security is a concern then you can make sure your data is located in the right place by putting workloads on the most appropriate platform for the application.
– A hybrid model is flexible enough to combine true public cloud, hosted private cloud and onsite technology for an organisation – enabling services to be delivered from the appropriate provider, depending on security, performance and SLAs.

Cons:
– Management of the entire infrastructure may be higher if you are managing multiple cloud services in addition to your onsite technology.
– Your IT team will need to be both a manager of services (from cloud providers) and IT service providers themselves (of their own infrastructure) to reach a balance.

Conclusion

In the long term, it is expected that firms will move out many of their generic IT platforms to the cloud, in order to reduce the amount of time spent managing and fixing hardware issues. Most firms will adopt a hybrid model, making use of Public cloud services where it fits and retaining control over core Practice Management applications by placing them with a private hosting provider or by delivering the platforms onsite.

However, as more innovative legal-specific technology is introduced, it is likely that most new applications will be delivered in a software-as-a-service model, or at least developed to be –as-a-service ready – making it easier for firms to put services out to the cloud with minimal transitional work needed.

As private and multi-tenant hosting providers in the legal sector, we are seeing more and more legal firms looking to the cloud to deliver cost-efficiencies and flexibility, and many are becoming confident with putting core practice management platforms out to the cloud – to increase their own IT security and datacentre compliance capabilities. This shows a marked change in the industry as the cloud market matures and starts to offer a secure, viable cloud option to legal firms.

 

* David Ricketts is Head of Marketing and Sales at C24 Ltd and Carrie Morgan is Director at The Sales Way Ltd. C24 Ltd is one of the UK’s leading specialist managed service and hosting providers. Working with businesses all over the globe, the company manages, secures and delivers critical business applications to over 100 countries, with a particular focus on the legal sector. It is also a strategic Thomson Reuters partner and delivers enterprise hosting platforms for Thomson Reuters Elite clients who are looking for more flexible solutions for their core practice management platforms. www.c24.co.uk

TOP 5 REASONS WHY ORGANIZATIONS WANT A DROPBOX ALTERNATIVE


During a recent visit to Brazil, I encountered many customers and partners who faced a similar challenge – providing their clients with a safe, secure and genuinely easy way to share files and collaborate with data.  All faced a number of barriers and none were happy with the current offerings of cloud based file sharing solutions.  Generally speaking:

  • All required a secure way to share files with internal and external people– partners, vendors and employees
  • All tried to block access to file sharing sites and no one thought they were successful in doing so
  • All were concerned about the additional resource requirements to manage and control cloud file shares
  • Many wanted the same user experience and processes  for internal  and external collaboration
  • Not one had a plan to fulfill these requirements
  • All were required by the business areas to provide a solution in the near term

The following 5 criteria summarize their requirements, which are not currently fulfilled by cloud based file sharing solutions:

1. Ongoing guarantee of rightful access

Customers clearly state that the security of cloud based file sharing solutions is a primary concern.  They require a comprehensive audit trail of all usage activity, the ability to ensure permissions are granted and revoked at the appropriate times by the appropriate people, and the ability to develop different profiles for different data and people based on data sensitivity, customer location, and role.

2. Ability to leverage existing infrastructure and processes

Customers want to leverage their existing infrastructure and processes instead of purchasing a new solution, and have no wish to reinvent their processes for managing data on a third-party cloud solution.  Customers have processes and applications to perform backup, archival, provisioning and management of existing infrastructure, and they are confused about how to perform these functions within a cloud-base file sharing solution.

3. Ensuring Reliability with Accountability

IT organizations have defined service levels for their internal clients,  and are accountable for the delivery of each service. If they don’t deliver, there is no question about whose responsibility it is.  Service levels associated with cloud based file sharing must be negotiated like other third party services – there are typically few guarantees of performance and remedies for non-performance are limited.

4. Providing an intuitively simple user experience

Regardless of the solution, IT Managers are very concerned about a new user experience for their clients.  Most indicate that a different user experience will require training, impact the number of calls for support, and reduce productivity at least temporarily.  Ultimately, IT Managers would like leverage the user experience that their user population has already mastered.

5. Predictable expense

Typical cloud based file sharing solutions are priced based on amount of storage— storage requirements often grow at a surprising rate. Customers may need to negotiate storage costs with cloud providers on an ongoing basis.

WHAT’S YOUR REPUTATION WORTH?


During this past year, we’ve been reminded (too) many times that data breaches are costly and damaging to a company’s reputation. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2014 Cost of Data Breach Study, the average total cost of a data breach—which can include credit monitoring, legal fees, remediation, and customer loss—for the companies who participated in the research report increased 15%, to $3.5 million USD. Also, the average cost paid for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information increased more than 9% from $136 in 2013 to $145.i In short: failure to protect sensitive data has a quantifiable cost, and the theft of that data has bottom line implications. However, are C-level execs viewing files and emails containing customer records and other sensitive information as bits and bytes on a disk, or do they view them as piles of unprotected cash?

Unfortunately, it has been much more of the former, based on the huge data heists of the last year. The tide, though, may finally be changing. Here’s what HP CEO Meg Whitman had to say about the cloud, security, and Big Data:

“When I am with my fellow CEOs…these are three areas that me and my colleagues are worried about…Every CEO lives in fear of a Big Data breach, loss of data, a hack into the system that compromises our company’s reputation. And reputations take years and years to build and can be destroyed overnight.”

Our guess is that executives will have no choice but to join Ms. Whitman and start weighing the potential impact of data loss and how it can evaporate years of trust and brand equity in a heartbeat.

Unsure if your environment is well-protected? Get a free 30 day risk assessment! Varonis will show you where your sensitive content is, who has access to it, and more.

[i]http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/en/it-services/security-services/cost-of-data-breach/

Specialist Legal Application Hosting Provider, C24, showcases the latest in business intelligence software to Legal Firms.


C24, an Applications Hosting Provider, showcased their Business Intelligence analytics platform, BI24, to legal firms at the Alternative Legal IT Conference 2014 earlier this month.

Held annually at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, leading technology suppliers to the UK Legal sector were present to meet with law firms and demonstrate how the sector could benefit from next generation technology solutions.

C24’s Business Intelligence analytics platform was on display, with C24’s technical specialists offering live demonstrations to clients throughout the day. Demos included showing how legal firms were using their internal data to understand how they could achieve savings across Work In Progress cases, who their top fee earners were and general fee trends and operational statistics to help make better business decisions, amongst many other topics. BI24 is a business analytics platform that centralises data and information and provides search engine functionality across the entire organisation, and is particularly helpful to legal customers who require holistic visibility of client and internal operations.

C24 has worked with numerous legal clients to deliver innovative business intelligence and hosting solutions. A recent win at Wright Hassall, a leading UK law firm, uncovered a number of challenges common to the legal sector, such as increasing demand from clients for more granular visibility of case activities and the need to drive further efficiencies across the organisation.

Martyn Wells, IT Director at Wright Hassall LLP, commented, “Expedient and insightful analytics are now essential in an industry where data hungry clients demand precise and granular views of activities conducted on their behalf. It is becoming increasingly clear that the days of monolithic data warehouse are over, and we sought a much more contemporary and agile solution; one that our users would understand and use intuitively.”

David Ricketts Head Of Sales and Marketing at C24, commented “C24’s on-going focus on the legal sector means that we are continually developing a significant portfolio of legal and professional services clients, and events like the Alternative Legal IT Conference and the Thomson Reuters Vantage Show enable us to connect directly with our legal clients and showcase the next generation technology in the law industry. The response to the business intelligence demonstrations using live data that we delivered at the show was fantastic and we are already speaking to a number of large law firms about how they too can benefit from increased visibility and business insight across their organisation”.

About C24
C24 is an enterprise applications hosting provider based in the West Midlands, delivering infrastructure hosting, business intelligence software and document management capabilities to clients across the globe. C24 works closely with key technology vendors and partners to deliver best of breed private cloud hosting solutions to customers, and is a HP Cloud Agile Service Provider Partner and a Microsoft Gold Hosting Partner.

Midlands Enterprise Hosting Provider Wins Ambulance 999 Project West Midlands


Birmingham, July 21, 2014 – West Midlands Hosting Provider, C24, has been awarded the contract to deliver an on-premise infrastructure-as-a-service solution to underpin the critical 999 services delivered by West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS).

The service has been purchased via the Government’s G-Cloud framework and will allow WMAS to retain their infrastructure onsite at their own premises, with a C24 hosting wraparound service. This innovative solution enables WMAS to continue ensuring the security of their mission critical IT operations.

The solution from C24 will underpin the 999 Dispatch and Patient Transport applications to allow the Trust to continue delivering exceptional levels of emergency and urgent care and support to the public. These systems are all highly critical and as such need to be highly resilient whilst providing high availability to its users. C24’s enterprise solution therefore delivers reliability and high levels of availability by implementing a flexible yet robust infrastructure layer comprising of HP Bladesystem and HP 3PAR Storage technologies.

Phil Smith, Head of ICT Services at WMAS FT, explains that, “WMAS covers an area of 5,000 square miles, serving a population of over 5 million. Our two emergency operations centres take almost 3,000 999 calls every single day. We pride ourselves in the quality and robustness of the technologies that we deploy to support these critical functions, which ultimately leads to safer patient care. WMAS were the first UK Ambulance Service to fully deploy a multi-site ‘virtual’ Contact Centre. By continuing to build on this highly resilient and performing platform, using the latest available ‘proven’ technologies we will continue to provide the highest quality service and care for our patients”

Phil adds “Whilst working closely with both C24 and HP on the solution design, HP have recognised the investment that West Midlands Ambulance Service has already made in their technology infrastructure and by working alongside C24, they continue to strongly support the Trust in the development and deployment of their critical systems infrastructure.”

Paul Hemming, Managing Director of C24 Ltd, commented that, “C24 recognised the importance of security and high levels of availability when designing the solution for West Midlands Ambulance Service, and recent high profile outages and attacks experienced by Public Cloud providers further highlighted the critical need for an enterprise, private cloud solution located locally at WMAS FT’ premises.”

C24 Ltd recently presented at a Birmingham SOCITM event on the importance of assessing both the benefits and negatives of Private and Public cloud deployments for Public Sector organisations where data location and security is imperative. West Midlands Ambulance Service’s decision to opt for an on-premise private cloud solution combines the benefits of locally managed systems with the flexibility of a cloud procurement and deployment model, creating a flexible and secure hybrid IT environment.

About C24

C24 is an enterprise applications hosting provider based in the West Midlands, delivering infrastructure hosting, business intelligence software and document management capabilities to clients across the globe. C24 works closely with key technology vendors and partners to deliver best of breed private cloud hosting solutions to customers, and is a HP Cloud Agile Service Provider Partner and a Microsoft Gold Hosting Partner.

For more information please contact:-
Editorial – David Ricketts, Head of Marketing, C24 Ltd on email dricketts@c24.co.uk or phone 0121 550 4569. Alternatively, contact Carrie Morgan, The Sales Way carrie@thesalesway.com (+44) 7704 263 972