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Private Virtual Servers FAQs

Once we are at private cloud, who owns the data?

As per our terms and conditions, your data is always owned by you and will be made available to you no matter what. You always have full control and access to all your data files and information and can bring them back to your local computer by a simple drag and drop anytime if needed.

 

If your data is large and you need a full copy of it, please have a USB drive shipped to us with a pre-paid label and we will ship it back to you immediately after copying all of your data. This service to copy the data for you is free once every 3rd month.

 

Do you support multiple monitors?

Yes. We have tested up to 6 monitors though technically up to 32 monitors can be supported. Multiple monitors increase efficiency and are common in all professional firms especially Accountants, Engineers & Lawyers etc.

 

What would change if we move our office to the private cloud?

Your cloud based desktops have the same look and feel of Windows 7 that you have seen before allowing your business to utilize enterprise-class servers. You will login to a web interface from any internet enabled device and it will launch your full featured desktop. Your cloud desktop experience is simple, secure and of high definition. You can always copy and paste information from your local applications to the cloud as well as move files between local and cloud desktops using the Windows Explorer drag and drop feature. If you value efficiency and functionality, and have ever used a clunky Remote Desktop client, you will find our delivery solution for your cloud at least 3 to 4 times faster.

 

Also you will enjoy the flexibility of anytime, anywhere access. If you have a complete power failure, or snow storm was about to hit your region, you can simply send everyone home and they will still be able to work. They can log into your office account from anywhere in the world and have instant access.

 

Licensing cost for Windows Servers, Microsoft Exchange server 2013, Citrix and Office 2013 is already included in our monthly fee. You continue to license your business & accounting software exactly the same way that you have been doing so far.

 

Should I move to the cloud or not?

That's a million dollar question currently being faced by almost every business. Small business owners, often the expert of their field wear many hats and don't have a lot of time to research options thus costing them more money and missed opportunities. Any change even if it is for the betterment, is difficult to accept. Many of our existing on-premise clients already moved their business to the private cloud. It is business-as-usual for them, while others are being left behind due to fear of the unknown and inexperience.

 

In a national study in USA, it was found that SMBs lack of knowledge was a key barrier to cloud usage for almost half of those who said they don't use it for business. Around the same proportion were concerned about the safety and security of data. Interestingly, those using the cloud were 52% more likely to experience a revenue rise last financial year and 63% more likely to have more sales/work than usual in their quarterly pipeline versus those who weren't.

 

Private cloud based office model has finally been accepted as a better alternative to the costly expense of building and maintaining IT infrastructure. Hosted cloud solutions offer the ability to outsource the most headaches associated with traditional in-house servers and Increase your bottom line. Anytime, Anywhere access has made businesses agile, efficient and productive. The cloud is having profound impact on small businesses, accounting & law firms giving them control of their data on their terms and streamlining their business process.

 

We have built the credibility, technology expertise and reputation working with businesses just like yours over the years. We have invested heavily in cloud technologies and training of our staff to provide reliable, exceptional service and flawless security.

 

Do I save any money by moving to the cloud?

Not necessarily. Most businesses will save time & money but when performing an apples-to-apples analysis, your private cloud is going to be in the ballpark range of what you are investing in technology today. Surely you get improved speed, agility, functionality, solid infrastructure, expert advice & service that need huge investments and free up your time & resources to do more productive work. All this adds to your bottom line and smart businesses are making a right decision by moving to the cloud.

 

Our service includes everything that a normal IT department handles plus higher service levels. Our certified cloud system administrators monitor servers, firewalls, switches, storage systems, data, regularly create backups, update and install your business applications, update anti-virus software as well as many other day to day functions.

 

How much will an office in a private cloud cost us?

Every business needs are different. If you'd like to discuss your firm specifically, feel free to contact us at 604-515-1700 or toll-free 1-800-466-0073 or fill the form and we will provide you with a customized proposal that meet your firm's needs.

 

As on cloud we will be paperless, do we need to change our process?

It all depends upon you. You can access all electronic documents in your office now from anywhere, anytime (from home, office, vacation home, client site, remote office, the boat). This allows you to change your processes. For example, it allows you to do onscreen reviews for audits, remote tax planning etc.

 

When moving to paperless, firms must consider all legislation issues like Gramm-Leach-Bliley, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA & IRC 7216 etc. We provide the safe and secure working environment to protect documents in your office to handle the above concerns.

 

HIPAA: HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and it creates a range of important information handling any privacy requirements for healthcare companies and their Business Associates. If your business is in the healthcare vertical, your data hosting should be HIPAA complaint.

 

If I have my office data hosted in cloud, will I be able to make local copies of files when I want them?

Yes, anytime you want to save a backup copy of any file manually, you can download it to your local desktop.

 

That may not be necessary though. Our services provide automated backup and monitoring of your data for up to 60 days (longer periods are available) as well as implement a disaster recovery plan by keeping an offsite copy of the data providing you with unparalleled peace-of-mind. All file restores are free. This kind of backup protection is something most offices cannot afford to do themselves.

 

What is your uptime guaranteed?

We provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee—you won't find a company that can offer better!

 

Is there any initial setup fee for Private Cloud setup for our business?

Yes, there is an initial nominal setup cost because we will have to set up your virtual environment of Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange server and host servers with all the applications and programs installed and user profile configured for use by firm. Significant resources are needed on our side to initially spin a private cloud for you but still setup costs are nowhere close to what you will spend if buying new hardware and setting them up in a traditional way in the end. We suggest you ask for a demo account setup so that you can preview the environment and test the speed and functionality before making any commitment – this is demo account is completely free and we do not require any credit card information.

 

Once fully setup, there is a reasonable fixed amount per month based on the users, storage and other resources like SQL, IIS, extended backup, two-factor authentication etc. assigned to your firm. You will not need to spend a monster amount on your network infrastructure every few years ever again.

 

As all the processing and delivery will happen on the server, desktop life cycles are increased. Firms who have been trying to squeeze 4 and 5 years out of their computers can actually do so without a problem. Your old IT costs to manage your local network are virtually eliminated. No business and accounting programs need to be installed on your local desktops anymore so they can be maintained in-house or can be outsourced to us for a regular tune up at a nominal service fee.

 

Is there any risk of my data being compromised?

As soon as a computer connects to the internet either directly or indirectly, there is always some risk. You are already at a risk because you are always connected to the internet.

 

No worries. The process of ensuring data security is complex and it is what differentiates GREAT from GOOD. Your data is hosted on advanced storage systems that are both physically and technically locked for unauthorized access. There is a reason that we have advanced intrusion detection systems, high end multi-layered firewalls and security systems in place. Our two-factor authentication service protects you against today's threats without the hassle and cost of yesterday's technology by securing your logins from account takeover and data theft. Many banks, credit unions, government departments and fortune 500 companies' run their business using the same infrastructure in the data centers.

 

Only vetted and trusted technicians have access to the hardware & software used to host your data. Data is backed up daily using military grade encryption and is stored at another secured remote offsite data center as part of the disaster recovery plan as per the best practices in the industry.

 

Even if your laptop is lost or stolen, your information will still be safe. As data sits on servers in the cloud, if your workstation gets stolen, no data goes with it. If a workstation dies – there is no costly setup and installation.

 

We ensure that that you never face the same risks in an enterprise grade data center that you might face while running on current barely managed computer systems. Your exposure to data loss, theft, fire or vandalism is virtually eliminated giving you a peace of mind.

 

In a nutshell, security is far greater than that of an on-premise IT infrastructure. These security capabilities meet or exceed the toughest of standards, such as HIPPA, PCI/DSS, GLB, SOX, SSAE 16(previously SAS70) and SEC.

 

How do you handle custom/unique applications that our firm may need?

If you use a custom developed app windows or web application, it would be better if we could talk to the developer to ensure it will work in a multi-user environment like Windows Terminal Services or Citrix and if there are any special needs like SQL, IIS etc. Most of the time, it is not an issue and we have way around to handle these kind of applications.

 

We will get a comprehensive list of all the applications used in your firm during cloud readiness assessment and build your private cloud around them. We already have installed almost all of your applications hundreds of times so we know them inside out.

 

What kind of Internet connection do I need to connect to the cloud?

Bigger is better though you can work even from a 3G network. It all depends upon your firm size and staff accessing from inside the single location. Also having a backup internet connection from a different ISP is always a good idea.

 

How would the performance of an application be compared to our existing local network?

You would actually see an increase in opening and processing speed of your applications when compared to your current internal infrastructure. The applications now run on high powered enterprise-grade servers delivering you a much better performance and opening new door of opportunities.

 

What kind of redundancy is available to our office in the cloud?

Our infrastructure is robust, secure, and redundant while leveraging enterprise class Dell Server systems that is housed in a secured SSAE 16 Type II certified data centers. Our servers, firewalls, switches, power supplies, and cooling supplies are all redundant. Our data center facility has biometric and key card access, redundant internet connectivity routes, multiple UPS systems, backup generators, and advanced fire suppression systems. Our VMware/Microsoft/Citrix virtualization technology cloud platform offers the latest in secure technology with a 256 bit encryption, user authentication, single sign on, and SSL session encryption. Data is backed up daily and stored at offsite remote locations to protect against any disaster. Unforeseen circumstances can happen and our cloud will allow you get things done despite any regional circumstances due to redundancy built into the system. Welcome Networks powered cloud servers are up 24/7/365 providing you anytime, anywhere access.

 

Can you set up an in-house cloud for us?

Yes we can. In fact we have many years' experience setting similar things up at our client locations when they have 60+ users. This smaller setup function is similar to our cloud but is on a low end for the performance. You must be aware that the costs involved in enterprise-class hardware, software, licensing, setting up, managing, maintaining, fixing, supporting, updating, upgrading, and backing up the entire system far outweigh an in-house cloud's benefits and savings.

 

Our cloud platform is based on enterprise-class servers with the ability to easily handle thousands of users on hundreds of virtual servers. If you have deep pockets and don't want to leverage the economies of scale and still interested in on-premise solution, we can set up this infrastructure and manage it for you. Still you may not come close to the performance and efficiency that you may get from our cloud hosted in a SSAE 16 fully redundant data center being monitored 24X7 by our staff. You should be willing to face and accept countless issues that may crop up when you're hosting on your own out of a local office including large setup and maintenance costs.

 

Can I have multi-tiered accounts for contractors, employees, and maybe for clients?

Yes, we can create a tiered solution based on your needs. Your clients, contractors and employees will have limited access to the file and folders that based on your requirements. Our policies are based on best industry practices for the real world business. A business with multiple locations may have different needs and may be you want them to be able to access only their data or files specific to them. Our solution offers a wide variety of options and we can accommodate to all your needs.

 

For what kind of businesses cloud is most suitable?

Whether you're an independent accountant working from home or a corporate employee crunching numbers at the office, there are plenty of compelling reasons to consider bringing your business applications to the cloud. We live in an age when working from home is not only possible, but practical. Often, you can be called on to provide immediate answers to questions even when you're not exactly at your desk.

 

Setting up and maintaining a server in-house is an unnecessary expense in this day and age. A solid cloud-based solution opens up a whole new world of usage scenarios giving you full access to your data on the road, at remote meetings, and back at the office without running the risk of data loss through unexpected damage, or theft separating you from your primary system.

 

With a cloud hosted solution, you can log in from virtually any Internet-capable system around the world and find the answers you need. For some companies this is super important because their staff is always in the field. This is the only way to be efficient while mobile using the latest technology.

 

Typically a business needs a domain controller, exchange server, application server, firewall, switches and redundancy of these servers and other hardware. You also need to invest in some kind of local backup solution as well as plan for offsite backups. Once done, you need to monitor it on daily basis to ensure it works perfectly all the time. It is not only expensive but offers no flexibility.

 

Whether you need real time cloud access to only 1 or 2 applications like QuickBooks or PC Law or flexibility to run a medium size business with variety of business programs and applications, we have the solutions for you. You handle huge success without having to provide large capital expenditures for expanded growth demands.

 

How does your technician from NOC help me fix the issue I am having?

Our IT support tools allow us to remotely manage and maintain your computer equipment as long as you are connected to the internet. We can log onto your computer and can assist with any problem you may experience. We can install/uninstall many applications remotely after hours without disturbing your work.

 

Do you provide training for your system?

Yes, training is available via webinars, live demos and through our help desk. It's a simple to use system. We are an IT company and remote support or training is something that we do consistently throughout the day.

 

We accept credit cards. Can you help with PCI compliance issues?

Yes. If you are accepting credit cards through QuickBooks, Sage or any other system, you need to be PCI compliant. We can help you become PCI compliant by safeguarding sensitive credit cards, payroll and employee data. We can also arrange for monthly port scanning and PCI compliance audits.

 

What is patch management exactly?

Patch Management is testing and applying all the latest Microsoft patches including:

  • Security Updates (Critical, Important, Moderate, Low, Non-rated).
  • Critical Updates, Update Rollups & Services Packs.
  • Updates (optional software oriented).
  • Feature Packs & Tools: These updates extend to all versions of Microsoft products including Windows Server operating systems, Windows Workstations, MS Office, MS SQL server, and MS Exchange server.

 

Why ONLY Welcome Networks?

While you do have choices for your private cloud, remember not all service providers are created equal. Our clients, many of whom we have been serving for over a decade have been our biggest strength. We have been in the IT industry for over 16 years servicing companies that work with tax and financial software. You don't get this kind of client retention by providing poor service. We think this will give you the idea on, "why Welcome Networks?"

 

Our fully-clustered, multi-tier world class infrastructure provides high reliability and advanced virtualization technology from Microsoft, Citrix & VMware enabling us to deliver reliable cloud services at an ultra-fast speed. At this time there is no other solution that offers the same speed, reliability, security and universal accessibility than Citrix. This level of speed, features, functions, and reliability is not available in any other cloud solution out there.

 

Our goal is to increase your productivity while working inside or outside the office and assist you with our superb service levels. We have evaluated and worked on all other solutions like Remote Desktop Services, Workspace etc. and there is none that comes close to our solution. All clients get 24/7 technical support – 365 days of the year.

 

I have huge data, what should I do?

Firms have historically created a confusing mess of data and systems to access all of these different types of documents that they created over the years. Some are too scared or negligent to do the cleanup of the old data so data is growing and getting bigger and bigger every day. While moving to cloud, you should only bring the data that you absolutely need because storage is limited on these high end storage systems and you are paying for the storage space allocated to you.

 

Our current network setup is complex. Will that be a challenge?

Our team of experienced certified system administrators is capable of handling the most complex set-up and networking issues. After working on hundreds of networks, we have achieved what many are still struggling to figure out. We understand your needs and train at least 3 members of our team for redundancy on your office network setup to ensure problems are resolved quickly. When you call or email, most of the time you will be communicating with the same members of the team allocated to you unless you need some higher level specialized support. Other members of our team will have peripheral involvement.

 

My systems are old and seem to work just fine. Do I really need to invest in IT?

Your computer systems are the vehicle you use to earn your bread and butter. If you understand the concept of the Time and Motion Study conducted by Frederick Winslow Taylor, you are already losing thousands, maybe millions, just because one of the core pillars supporting your business is weak and you failed to appreciate the value and importance of it.

 

Our clients have access to top-notch technology and their staff love to work for them because it's fun, efficient, productive and gives them a great sense of achievement. This is priceless and key reason of employee retention and significant growth of these companies. Old systems and technology can take you only so far and you are bound to be left behind in the race of successful businesses.

 

What is the difference between private and public cloud?

A cloud can have a different meaning based on the context being discussed. In simple terms, cloud computing is the delivery of hardware and software, such as email, office applications, file storage and accounting over the internet.

 

From a business perspective, anything that is publicly available like Yahoo, Gmail or Dropbox etc. are on the public cloud systems.

 

A private cloud is a physically and technically isolated infrastructure from the public allowing only authorized access. It allows your office to tap into the power of enterprise-class servers, advanced storage systems and networking components without having to maintain them at your office with huge savings on the electricity. It provides opportunities for professionals to accomplish more tasks more quickly regardless of their location. A private cloud platform is a GREEN solution because it allows you to go paperless without adding exorbitant costs. It also provides a strong opportunity to increase your business productivity. You will have more time and money to concentrate on growth building activities or a quality life outside work.

 

What do you mean by SSAE 16 compliant data centers?

SSAE 16 is a "Statement of Auditing Standard" created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to help customers know that their data center provider has effective internal controls in place for managing the design, implementation and execution of customer information & security.

 

All our data centers are SSAE 16 compliant and meeting the most rigorous controls standards, demanding accountability and transparency.

 

Can you help me install/uninstall applications on each machine in my office?

Yes, this is part of our managed services. You may still like the things the way they are. No problem, we can help you to ensure you are protected. Please visit here.

 

Do you help my firm go paperless with document management systems?

The cloud lays a great foundation for electronic storage and retrieval of all firm information in an organized and cost-effective manner. Our cloud infrastructure supports simple as well as major document management systems like CCH ProSystem fx Document, CCH Document, Doc.It etc. Many of these document systems need a solid infrastructure that include Active directory, Microsoft Exchange server, Microsoft SQL server along with a dedicate document server.

 

Historically smaller firms have not been able to take advantage of the enterprise class document systems like from CCH. It was quite unaffordable in the past for most small and medium size businesses to invest in such huge infrastructure costs for all hardware and software. Welcome Networks makes it easy and affordable for you to have your own internal document management system that was not possible before. If you have been thinking about one for your firm, feel free to contact us and we'll be able to provide you with a customized proposal that meets your firm's needs.

 

Due to our sensitive relationship with all these vendors, we don't endorse one system over another & there is no preferred system. We will be more than happy to support your choice & are able to make recommendations on the best practices based on our experience and your business needs.

Our auditors work mostly in the field. Can they be on the cloud?

Yes. This is a perfect system for them as long as they can have an internet connection. We have heard stories of auditors using internet data through their smart phones to work from the cloud when there was no broadband internet in the vicinity. We recommend a reliable dedicated broadband connection for efficiency and better productivity.

 

Auditors no longer need to sync binders or check-out/check-in data for CaseWare, CCH ProSystem fx Engagement, Engagement CS, etc. The data is always up to date and stays in your office on your servers.

 

If road warriors need applications when a high-speed Internet connection isn't possible, we can install the necessary applications on their laptops.

Call us Toll-Free today at 1-800-466-0073
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