By Daniel Hunter

Failing to exploit public cloud services thoroughly is proving costly for cloud users, says Cloudreach.

As the adoption of public cloud services soars, businesses have the opportunity to realise vast benefits, such as reduced costs and improved efficiency, but many are only scratching the surface by not reviewing and not looking beyond the more familiar tools, says the cloud computing consultancy.

Public cloud services, such as Google Apps, can prove a catalyst for cultural change in the way businesses operate by enabling a more collaborative approach from staff. However, with Google Apps continually evolving and releasing anything up to 160 enhancements over a two year period, keeping up to date is not a simple task.

The latest developments of Google Apps mean that businesses can also make substantial cost savings by replacing legacy file-storage, data management tools, portals and unified communications technologies, but few are making the most of these opportunities.

Businesses that use Google Apps are making unnecessary investment in add-on software to address specific needs that are in fact already covered by functionality included in the cloud service. These point solutions then have to be integrated into and supported by the business, wasting a vast amount of resources and putting additional pressure on already-overstretched IT teams.

To help businesses maximise their investment in cloud technologies, Cloudreach has today launched an Innovation Services programme. Starting with Google Apps, this consultancy-based service helps business cloud users consistently review how they’re using Google Apps, make the best of the tools they have and adopting new services from Google as they are released.

Cloudreach will work with new and existing users to help them adopt and benefit from all of the services Google Apps offers as opposed to just the familiar tools — going beyond the familiarity of Gmail, contacts and calendar to other Enterprise functionality and even the less well known Google Maps and Geospatial data management tools. By working with Cloudreach businesses can ensure they extract maximum value from the cloud-based services and avoid needlessly making costly investments elsewhere, all while enabling a culture of collaboration and giving end-users the flexible tools and features they demand.

“It’s not just about driving innovation within business, but also about optimising all the services you use. In the world of using public cloud, one drives the other, so it’s important that businesses remain focused on getting the most on both counts,” comments Pontus Noren, co-founder and CEO, Cloudreach. “The cloud is a great thing, and the reality is it just keeps getting better as more developments are made by Google Apps and Amazon Web Services. This ongoing evolution is only good news for businesses — as long as they continually review to ensure they harness these developments."

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