SMEs Score with Hosted Software

SMEs Score with Hosted Software


As the business world’s focus on efficiency and cost cutting intensifies, hosted software – what’s known as Software as a Service (SaaS) – is levelling the playing fields by making it possible for every business to benefit from powerful software applications that were previously the preserve of large, big-budget corporates.

Hosted software is software that resides on external serv­ers in the Cloud instead of being installed on a local server or individual PC.

Related: Set Your Server Free

Access anywhere on any device

You are no longer tethered to a traditional computer in order to use an application. Nor do you have to buy a version that is specifically configured for a phone, tablet or other device. You can simply access the application from any location, provided you have an adequate Internet connection.

Take Microsoft Exchange as an example. It has always been a key business tool because of the way it transforms Microsoft Outlook from a simple email tool into a powerful collaboration solution.

But many small businesses cannot benefit from the power of the Microsoft Exchange platform because it requires a significant capital outlay and in-house resources to deal with the technical challenges normally associated with supporting this type of sophisticated software application.

The solution? Hosted Exchange

Hosted Exchange offers all the features of Microsoft Exchange without the pain of purchasing, installing and maintaining it. It elimi­nates all the large upfront costs and minimises the need for techni­cal support.

The hosting or Cloud service provider conducts all ongoing upgrades and provides up-to-date protection against the latest known and unknown threats.

The provider also handles all hardware and software issues, including licensing and back-up. The application is instantly available to you and your staff whether they are at home, in the office or in a coffee shop in Paris. All they need is an Internet connection and some kind of computer device.

Having gone the Cloud route, Hosted Exchange can then form the basis of a fully-integrated, sophisticated communications and collaboration suite of applications.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Cloud Provider

Build your own solution

You could, for example, add on Hosted SharePoint, a market-leading knowledge management portal that provides ready-made, accessible online file sharing – much like an Intranet without the pain of in-house development, infrastructure procurement and maintenance overhead.

Another add-on option could be Hosted CRM, a solution that puts advanced customer acquisition and retention tools, sales performance analysis and much more right into your hands.

The bottom line is that with hosted software, the most advanced and sophisticated business applications can be brought within reach of every company.

Derek Hershaw
Derek Hershaw, CEO of MWEB ISP, joined in 1998 as general manager of the Dial Services Division. In 2003, he took over as general manager of Operations, managing the front and back office customer support environments and became CEO of MWEB ISP in December 2009. Before joining MWEB, Hershaw worked for Norwich Life for nine years, primarily in their Client Services Division. He holds a BCom (Honours) degree in Economics from Rhodes University.