By Neil Lathwood, IT Director, UKFast

One of the key drivers of cloud computing is its omnipresence. Being accessible at any time from anywhere with an internet connection opens the possibilities of collaboration, mobile working and homeworking.

Uniting mobile workforces and providing a platform for communication between ‘road warriors’ across the globe is a real challenge for modern businesses, but cloud computing can offer the solution.

Putting this concept into practice, mobile phone and embedded software development company Myriad use cloud technology to bring employees from the four corners of the world together into one virtual boardroom.

Myriad powers billions of rich mobile and web experiences on any connected devices. More than 2.5 billion users rely on Myriad software and the company’s technology is embedded in every Android device. The group operates worldwide with offices spread from Japan and Taiwan to Switzerland and the UK.

Clearly connecting offices through traditional telephone communications is expensive and unreliable when employees are in remote areas. Myriad joined cloud specialist UKFast, hosting their cloud solution within UKFast’s data centre, and employed a private cloud with public elements to bring their team together, wherever they may be.

Lee Johnson, IT, IS and facilities director at Myriad Group explains: “With offices across four continents and ‘road warriors’ all over the world it is a real challenge being able to link everyone together so they can collaborate effectively.

“Staff are no longer tied to one location with easy access to all systems, as a global, fast paced organisation we could have staff in airports, home-offices, hotels, taxis and offices all needing to interact at the same time. We wanted ‘connectivity’ to our corporate systems to be as seamless and transparent as possible, with reliability to overcome the nuances of local physical connections.

“Traditional VPN added a layer of complexity that was causing us more problems than it was solving, particularly for collaboration, with staff spending more time trying to reconnect over flaky networks.”

The availability of secure, dedicated connections is a thing of the past when you have a highly mobile workforce. They were finding it increasingly difficult to connect to the business network and we were witnessing higher usage of the standard telephone network which was increasing costs rather than reducing them.

Johnson explained: “We needed a more succinct solution and a cloud infrastructure, with an ‘always on’, largely transparent connection approach, was more attractive but we were concerned about availability, reliability and security.”

Myriad has established a cloud-based infrastructure that pushes collaborative corporate services out to its user base through the public cloud infrastructure, whilst protecting sensitive corporate assets such as finance and intranet-based data and services through more traditional mechanisms. It is basically a Hybrid cloud, allowing users to combine elements of public and private cloud services into their desktop.

“We use the cloud infrastructure to support our unified communications strategy with email being supported by such technologies as instant messaging, enterprise A/V conferencing, data sharing and VoIP. We still have the traditional range of in-house corporate services that rely heavily on data security, as they are stateful based systems with highly sensitive information. Our cloud infrastructure enables us to collaborate in ways we could not have done before.”

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