5 Reasons Your Organization Should Move To The Cloud

5 Reasons Your Organization Should Move To The Cloud

How many reasons do you need to transition to cloud-based IT infrastructure? For most companies, it’s more than just one. At Oakwood Systems Group, Inc., we know the benefits of the cloud outweigh any of the hassle.

Microsoft cloud services offer users with increased scalability and security, not to mention flexibility and ease of use. You’ll also save your business time and money by reducing maintenance of on-premises IT infrastructure.

Here are 5 reasons your organization should consider adopting the cloud.

1. Cloud Based Applications Are Here To Stay

  • The value of the cloud – The cloud market is expected to pass $500 billion by 2020.
  • Adoption is growing – 72% of organizations had at least one application in the cloud in 2015, a 15% increase from 2012.

2. Security Comes Standard

As cloud technology improves, security fears lessen. In a survey of enterprise IT managers, security is no longer ranked as the #1 concern when it comes to cloud computing.

One of the biggest advantages of moving to the public cloud is the security team that comes with it. By moving to an enterprise-level public cloud, you’ll experience:

  • Scale – A public cloud will always be large enough to store and secure your data.
  • Intelligence – Public clouds monitor for millions of threats. As soon as one is detected on one customer tenant, the cloud provider can mitigate the attack across all other tenants.
  • Automation – Less human touch results in fewer mistakes and fewer opportunities for security breaches or insider threats.

Benefits of Cloud Technology

We’re saving time and money. And every dollar we save is making it to the field to help those that need it.

Marc Julmisse – Chief Nursing Officer, Partners in Health

3. Move At Your Own Pace

Cloud migration does not need to happen all at once, and it’s recommended to migrate to the cloud over time with a hybrid approach—the combination of an on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services.

On average in 2015, businesses were simultaneously experimenting with and running data on 3 public clouds and 3 private clouds.


4. Using The Cloud Doesn’t Mean New Tools

Moving to a cloud-based solution doesn’t have to mean retraining employees. Many solutions allow you to use the same applications your employees are used to, with access to files anywhere online.


The switch to Microsoft cloud services makes us significantly more efficient in normal times but will make us far more effective when we respond to a disaster moving forward.

Mike Manning – President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Baton Rouge Food

Cloud Benefits: Scale, Intelligence & Automation

The Sky’s The Limit

Cloud adopters see various benefits from their technology, although businesses’ top-cited benefits include:

  • Faster access to infrastructure
  • Greater scalability
  • Increased availability

Microsoft 365 Customer Story: TransBlue

Microsoft 365 Customer Story: TransBlue

Whether you are part of a large conglomerate or a small business like TransBlue, modernizing your workplace is a necessity if you want to keep up with customer demands and the competition.

Running back and forth between jobsites can eat up time and resources, especially for a small business. TransBlue was still running their business the old-fashioned way when they updated their business infrastructure. TransBlue now uses Microsoft 365. The mobility enables them to cut out drives to the job that used to eat up an entire day.

With a suite of tools at their disposal, Microsoft 365 provides TransBlue with the collaboration and mobility their employees need to stay productive. With tools like Microsoft Teams, they can have face-to-face meetings no matter where they are and upload and share on Teams with ease. 

Your organization can benefit from the power of a modern workplace and your employees will thank you for using the suite of tools they already know and trust with Microsoft 365. Email us today to find out how we can help you plan your shift to the cloud.


The shift to the cloud brought agility to TransBlue. The future of your digital business depends on getting your IT right. Contact Oakwood Systems Group, Inc. to find out how we can help you integrate Microsoft 365 today.

Digital Transformation Within Hospitality – A Mobile First Case Study

Digital Transformation Within Hospitality – A Mobile First Case Study

Digital transformation within the hospitality industry has begun to push innovation in the mobile technology space. As a result, user experience and customer loyalty have become more important than ever before. Customers want to quickly make decisions and act upon them…all while on-the-go. Simple responsive websites are not enough to meet the needs for an ever-demanding demographic.

Why Digital Transformation?

A Mid-Western regional hotel brand, needed to make a meaningful change to the way users interacted with their booking and reservation system. They had a basic responsive website solution designed to allow mobile users to both make and manage reservations and learn about customer loyalty promotions on a website that automatically resized based on the device the customer used. In the past, companies would use this technique to meet customer needs in a cost-effective manner. Ten years ago, the concept of responsive design was introduced to meet the problems experienced by many business struggling to address the demands of the marketplace.  Google even started to demand companies offer users responsive sites if they wanted higher search engine rankings.

Why Mobile First?

For many companies, providing a mobile first experience meant having a responsive design that would handle this need. Unfortunately, most users found such websites very difficult and problematic to navigate. While they handled an immediate, need many of these responsive websites failed to engage and retain users. Previously, the cost of creating and maintaining native IOS and Android solutions were out of reach for most firms. Some even choose to develop a single solution or none at all. The cost of creating and maintaining two separate applications required numerous developers, a marketing team, and user experience experts. However, despite the costs, for the companies that invested in a mobile first strategy they were rewarded. Sources indicate that 90% of millennials state mobile devices never leave their side.

What happened?

The client partnered with Oakwood Systems Group to determine what solution would help solve their need to enhance customer loyalty through a digital transformation initiative. The solution needed to leverage existing infrastructure and be easily maintained by internal developers. Oakwood’s solution leveraged technology that allowed the creation of a single solution that compiles native code for both Android and Apple’s IOS. This means that developers only need to support a single language and can continue to maintain existing infrastructure.

Oakwood worked to create an exceptional mobile first experience that allows user to easily check availability, make reservations, manage their own user experience, and join their customer loyalty program.  Within the first 6 months the client reported over $500,000 in sales resulting directly from their new mobile application solution.
Want to launch your own digital transformation initiative with a proven leader? Contact us to get started!

About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.

A Mobile Application Brainstorm – Go

A Mobile Application Brainstorm – Go

Do you accept the proposition that every business should have a mobile application?  Part of your acceptance is the acknowledgment that the user community is carrying around hand-sized computers on which they sometimes have telephone conversations.  However, many businesses have not yet made the leap from their particular business model into the mobile application world.

Here, therefore, in no particular order, are a few customer-centric areas that mobile applications could address – geared toward some business types that might not traditionally think of the mobile application play.

Mobile Application | Solutions

  • If you are selling practically anything – from battleships to bubblegum, a catalog of your wares available in a mobile application – even if only to your own sellers – will likely increase sales, customer service ratings, and overall responsiveness.  Own a trade show floor, or own the elevator conversation, when your seller doesn’t have to get out a paper catalog to show what they have to sell.
  • On the mobile catalog front – think about catalogs for parts, services, add-ons – available to installers and/or owners of your product.
  • How about installation manuals and/or repair manuals for those complex items you build?  Can you stand apart from the competition by being the easiest company in your category with which to do business?
  • Find the closest repair shop or service depot.
  • Trade shows a bit part of your business?  How about an app that alerts trade show attendees to the next show/session/demo in your booth?
  • Customer service surveys – on the spot.  Tie this to a QR code to make it super-easy to get instant feedback before a customer leaves the shop, restaurant, or store. (I thought of this while signing the receipt at the auto body shop.)
  • Maintenance reminders, schedules, or appointments for the car, the furnace, the water heater, the boat…
  • In the restaurant business?  How about a mobile app with nutritional information for every item on the menu?  What about ways to ask for them to be made lighter?
  • Remote workforce input – fill out a form, take a picture of what’s been done, annotate a record – good for any business that employs or hires merchandisers, inventory clerks, survey-takers.

Conclusion

Just a few ideas, and not even touching on line-of-business application extensions to your own workforce – real-time order status, customer quoting, inventory queries, etc.  That is an article all on its own.  What ideas do you have?  Any business you’re doing business with – and wishing they had a mobile application because it would make something easier for you?


About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.  Let’s have a discussion to learn more about your business needs and goals.


Contact Us

Email

General Questions | Request a Scope of Work
sales@oakwoodsys.com

Charles Windsor | President
cwindsor@oakwoodsys.com
314-824-3000

Phone

♦ 314-824-3000 (St. Louis)

♦ 913-232-4057 (Kansas City)

♦ 800-810-8412 (After Hours)




About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.

Mobile Commerce Revenue Increases Over Digital

Mobile Commerce Revenue Increases Over Digital

Gartner, Inc predicts that by 2017, US customers' mobile engagement behavior will drive mobile commerce revenue in the US to 50 percent of US digital commerce revenue. A recent Gartner survey found that mobile commerce currently generates 22 percent of digital commerce revenue.

What's Going On?

“Some sectors will migrate more quickly than others to accepting mobile payments and promoting mobile commerce,” said Jennifer Polk, research director at Gartner. “For example, big-box retailers may not need to move as quickly as other industries because the in-store experience is still a critical part of their value proposition and the customer experience, making digital and mobile commerce a smaller portion of their overall revenue.”

However, Polk also explained that new credit card standards will cause a shift in liability for fraudulent transactions in 2015, requiring retailers to update their POS systems for safer credit card transactions. This opens the door for point-of-updates to accept mobile payment.

Mobile Commerce Predictions

  • By year-end 2016, more than $2 billion in online shopping will be performed exclusively by mobile digital assistants
  • By 2017, 50 percent of consumer product investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations

Mobile Payments

Read the full release.


About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite | Secure | Productive

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite | Secure | Productive

Unsecured company data can cost millions in lost research, regulatory fines, or litigation settlements, but protecting your information shouldn’t make it harder for workers to get their jobs done.  Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) helps reduce security risks and enables workers to be more productive. With features like identity and access management, information protection, device and application management, and cyber intrusion detection.

Enterprise Mobility Suite

Microsoft enterprise mobility suite

EMS can help with all of your enterprise security needs. By implementing multi-factor authentication to help prevent unauthorized access to confidential data, you can secure information across file servers, email, and collaboration platforms. In the Enterprise Mobility Suite, you will also have the ability to enforce security policies on corporate-owned or personal devices to prevent data theft, even if devices are lost or stolen.

Don’t be blindsided by negative brand exposure and litigation costs. Identify cyber-attacks before data is compromised using behavior-based analytics that leverage Machine Learning to inspect all network traffic.

Avoid regulatory fines and centrally manage and secure devices with EMS so that they comply with industry and government regulations for information security. Quick provision and de-provision identities and access for new, temporary, or existing employees.

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite

ems security

• Single sign-on to any application on your favorite device.

• Corporate policy enforcement for accessing resources from corporate or personal devices.

• Managed access to more than 2,500 pre-integrated SaaS applications, as well as your own custom cloud or on-premises hosted web applications.

• Trusted multi-factor authentication engine that processes billions of requests every week.

• Data encryption that follows documents everywhere.

• Behavioral analytics to pinpoint cyber-attacks before information can be compromised.

• Comprehensive security coverage for nearly half the price of third-party solutions.

• Self-service password reset can reduce Help Desk calls by an average of 25%.

• Simple set-up, always up to date, and connects to your on-premises data center.

Act now to protect your data and empower your workers with Enterprise Mobility Suite.


About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.