Daisy’s CloudBridge Portal | Cloud Management Made Simple

The simple way to manage your cloud estate

Check out our 60 second video and find out how CloudBridge portal can save you time and give you the visibility and control you need to easily manage your cloud estate.

Manage your cloud services from a single dashboard

With the Daisy CloudBridge Portal, you can easily control your cloud estate from a single dashboard. Add Microsoft 365 licences, allocate them to users, view event logs, analyse billing and reporting, view usage of compute, storage, and network, plus get complete cost visibility including forecasts giving you a view into the future.

Self-serve Microsoft 365 subscriptions at the click of a button

No more requests and time spent waiting for Microsoft 365 subscriptions. With the Daisy CloudBridge Portal, you can add licences in just a few clicks with complete cost visibility, and quickly assign them to users.

Easily add and subtract users and simply allocate licences to each user

You can add users to Microsoft 365 quickly and easily, saving you time and making you more efficient and productive.

View event logs including user history, subscriptions information and subscription changes

View a historical list of events and approval requests, so you are never in the dark and always have an unrestricted view of what’s going on in your cloud estate.

Manage Azure subscriptions and usage

View your Azure usage, costs and reporting as well as all of your subscriptions and users.

Take control with complete cost visibility

The Cloudbridge Portal offers you complete transparency and visibility of your costs. View and export all of your invoices, billing and reporting from one easy to manage location.

View billing and reporting for each service

Dive into each service area for a more granular look at the billing and reporting for each service

View usage of compute, storage, and virtual network

You can easily stay on top of compute, storage, and network to ensure everything runs smoothly and there are no nasty surprises.

See into the future. Forecast future usage and costs

Use predictive forecasting to see into the future to help you make informed decisions without any guesswork.

To find out more about CloudBridge, visit our CloudBridge page or get in touch with one of our cloud experts.

Migrate To Hybrid Cloud [Blog]

Every cloud is unique when you look at them, every one different to its peers. But even in that uniqueness we can group them into types; Stratocumulus. Cirrus. Cumulonimbus and so on. Even more fundamentally, each and every cloud is constructed of water vapour. H2O.

It is the same when you are planning your journey to the cloud. You are unique, your organisation is unique, and your cloud strategy will be too – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t group what you are trying to achieve and distil it down to your fundamental concerns at the same as identifying the benefits and building your business case: organisational agility, productivity, efficiency, scalability and cost-effectiveness.

Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint.

Don Marquis

Don’t think of the uniqueness of your organisation as being a barrier to adopting a cloud strategy – the bespoke nature of hybrid cloud architecture means you won’t be hammering a square peg into a round hole but creating an environment that fits your organisation.

So how do you mint that silver lining of a hybrid cloud strategy?

Which kind of cloud are you?

Firstly, it sounds simple but is often missed, we need to make an inventory of your current state. Identifying all the workloads, your user base and rate of usage for each of these workloads, calculating the cost of compute, storage and networking, defining the security, recovery and continuity needs and finally researching the all legal and compliance implications for these.

Sounds a lot but without this baseline we won’t be able to accurately assess what you have, what you need and what you want to change. Below are some pointers to help evaluate each of these areas and begin to build a picture of your estate.

Sound daunting? Our experts are on hand to help you with as little or as much of this process as you need. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

Make an inventory of workloads

The best place to begin? Making an inventory of all of your organisation’s applications and workflows, such as email systems, finance applications, databases, and CRM systems. Starting from the top and working down.

Next, we determine which workloads are business-critical, whether there is any sensitive data, which of these are prime candidates for public cloud, and which need to be highly available.

It’s a good idea to estimate the effort to move each workload to the cloud and the advantage of doing so; even a simple classification of high effort/low effort, high value/low value will give an idea.

High Effort/High Value Contact Centre High Effort/Low Value Dev/Test
Low Value/High Value Data Warehouse Low Effort/Low Value

Once a birds-eye view of these workloads has been established, the task of planning where each workload should reside becomes easier. This is something your internal teams may want to undertake or we can assist and help produce.

daisy cloudbridge consultation hybrid cloud

Identify User Base & Rate of Usage

Once we have mapped out all of your workloads, their importance to your organisation and where you can gain the most benefit from migrating them to the cloud, the next step is to identify the rate of usage and user base. This is important in order to know how you can go about executing a migration with as little effect on your users and customers as possible as well as what kind of configurations are needed.

Calculate costs

An essential part of any business decision is, of course, costing it out. What kind of level of compute is necessary? How much storage do you need? What are the networking costs? As we know the level of storage required is likely to grow and change, our cloud experts think ahead to minimise future storage costs and other hidden costs that may arise.

Define security & recovery needs

Identify your businesses appetite for risk and requirements to meet industry or customer standards is a vital part of the process; what kind of SLAs need to be in place? What sort of failover and business continuity considerations need to be taken? What are the security implications of the planned migration so far?

With more than 30 years’ experience in business recovery, we have experts on hand to assist with these critical considerations which can have some grey areas and intricacies.

Research legal

Just like for when you are assessing your security and recovery needs, make sure you are aware of the compliance and legal guidelines that your organisation must adhere to. What about future considerations? Getting all information available together at this stage is vital for planning your next steps.

Choose a type of migration

Do you need a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) where the virtual machines (VMs) are configured by the service provider? Or is this something you can do in-house with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)?

What about considerations like rolling back from Public Cloud? Is there a path back? Make sure you have a strategy that includes optional paths in the future means that you won’t ever paint yourself into a proverbial corner.

Got some silver already?

If you are already utilising a hybrid cloud architecture and are interested in changing things up, this may still help. If not, get in touch with one of our cloud experts and we can talk through your requirements and advise you on the optimal path and how we can help.

Thinking of starting your cloud journey, or just need advice on your current cloud architecture? Get in touch today with one of our experts, and we can help talk through your requirements.

CX Whitepaper | Delivering a Digital Customer Experience (CX) for Today’s Mobile Consumer [Whitepaper]

In this customer experience white paper, we discuss the digital customer experience (CX) and how it has shifted from a “nice to have” to an essential service.

More than ever, customer experience (CX) is shaped and delivered through digital interactions. While the majority of customer communications are still voice-based, consumers now rely more heavily on digital methods, such as email, SMS, web chat and social media. They expect the flexibility to interact through the medium of their choice, wherever they are. And, they expect to be able to switch between one medium and another while they are on the move.

The latest market research puts this reality into perspective. 9 out of 10 consumers want absolute omnichannel service – they expect a seamless experience when moving from one communication method to another, such as phone to text or chat to phone. 57% of customers would rather contact companies via digital media such as email or social media rather than use voice-based customer support. At the same time, consumers are now empowered by social media. Over one third of the world’s population has active social accounts. These consumers are comfortable posting their opinions and observations about their experiences on social media. In this environment, a negative customer service story can easily go viral.

This whitepaper provides more stats like this, discusses the digital customer experience and how it has shifted from a “nice to have” offering to an essential service, before providing an overview of the digital expectations and habits of today’s consumer and offers practical next steps for transforming customer experience from dated to digital.

Daisy-Corporate-Services-The-Benefits-of-Cisco-Meraki-SD-WAN-Infographic-banner

The Benefits of Cisco Meraki SD-WAN [Infographic]

From improved agility to greater cost savings, four BIG reasons SD-WAN from Cisco Meraki makes sense.

Imagine a network that evolved in line with the needs of your business; saved more of your employees time and applied the same  zero-risk approach to security as you do– all while reducing your business’ carbon footprint and overall spend.
Continue reading “The Benefits of Cisco Meraki SD-WAN [Infographic]”

Daisy_Group_Four_Business_Benefits_SD-WAN

Four Real Business Benefits of SD-WAN

From automation to advanced threat protection, how SD-WAN can help transform your business.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that humans want two things: to be in control and to have things fast – think fast food, fast cars and fast internet speeds. Waiting for anything can feel like a death sentence and in the business world, this often translates to huge competitive disadvantage.

There are countless solutions that have worked to make business processes faster and faster, but our need for speed is in danger of leaving the underlying network behind. As a result, there is rapidly rising industry demand for a newer way to network. In a recent survey by Forrester, it was reported that 56% of network managers sought the ability to centrally monitor, manage traffic and remotely provision their WAN.

Fortunately, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) now exists to not only meet this demand but to lead a networking revolution across the sector. In essence, you can think of it as air traffic control for businesses or the Uber of the networking world; the same technology that underpins both services is fundamentally the same.

Automation

Both solutions started life as traditional business models relying on human operators manually controlling multiple forms of traffic and deciding what gets sent where to complete which journey.

Then, in 2009, the process of hailing a taxi was put in our own pockets in the form of the Uber app, giving us more control and greater visibility of each automated component of the journey – from available vehicles, to route efficiency and real-time demand.

Driven by similar technology, SD-WAN connects every single one of a business’ individual networks – including branch offices, cloud-based workloads and even data centres – to deliver the same result. Just like hailing the nearest car with a simple click, SD-WAN offers one single, centralised portal to overview and manage all the points where a business’ network is running for a seamless, convenient and ultra-efficient experience.

Agility

And this makes it an incredibly agile solution. Traditionally, making changes to networking configurations in branch offices would require manual configurations being created and installed and, most likely, multiple on-site technicians employed to perform the changes.

But more and more businesses are learning that this is both expensive and time-consuming – not to mention a contributing factor to outages caused by human error.

Compatible with multiple access and mix technologies such as long-term evolution (LTE) and ultrafast broadband (think FTTP and G.Fast), SD-WAN allows for the rapid deployment of WAN services – such as bandwidth or firewalls – without the need for the IT personnel, meaning your employees’ time can be better used elsewhere to benefit the needs of the business.

In addition, SD-WAN configurations are simpler and less brittle than their traditional WAN counterparts, and the availability of zero-touch provisioning – a key benefit of SD-WAN networking – reduces manual configuration of devices altogether.

This means that bandwidth can be easily added or reduced as business requirements evolve, providing businesses with the agility they need to stay ahead of competitors. Reducing network complexity is another huge benefit that zero-touch provisioning can help to bring about, and with every industry on the planet looking for new ways to reduce the complexity of their networks, industries such as manufacturing, retail and healthcare set to benefit greatly.

Without the need for major network overhauls, retailers can leverage true business opportunities such as pop-up shops during peak holiday periods; healthcare providers can share critical patient data securely with new sites, mobile facilities or on-the-road carers in real time; and manufacturers can leverage the power of the internet of things (IoT) to support current demands and trends, meet deadlines and address future needs.

Advanced threat protection

But ensuring the wellbeing of a business’ network is becoming increasingly difficult as technology advances. Users are demanding access to more applications and data way beyond the traditional parameters, the cybercrime environment grows more and more hostile by the minute and there are more end points to protect than ever before.

While traditional WAN solutions handle security through multiple appliances at each individual site, SD-WAN’s has inbuilt security protocols – much like Uber’s in-built ride-sharing safety features – giving businesses one less thing to worry about.

The security features built into SD-WAN cover more traditional protection as well as providing hyper-intelligent, real-time threat defence solutions. Designed with strong end-to-end capabilities across the entire network, SD-WAN is designed to integrate securely with and complement cloud providers’ security system.

Built-in encryption, content filtering, intrusion detection (IDS) services and firewalls are just a few examples of the technology that allows businesses to rest assured that their data is robustly safeguarded from getting into the wrong hands, as well as business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities that maintain connectivity even during multiple network failures.

SD-WAN also facilitates granular control and enables companies to create policies to inform the network how certain types of traffic should be treated, keeping high-risk traffic from ever entering the network in the first place.

Through WAN segmentation critical business assets can operate in isolation to ensure that sensitive data remains secure and that potentially compromised network edges and business partner data can be quarantined and scrubbed at a moment’s notice. In addition, it can ensure that guest wifi access is kept completely separate to mitigate the risk of a data leak.

Reduced costs

Come businesses great or small, the act of connecting geographically disparate branches or offices hits IT budgets hard. Traditional MPLS lines – considered a dependable staple of network connectivity – are expensive and for many businesses often create a “price vs performance” ultimatum.

SD-WAN reduces the reliance on expensive lines, while maintaining overall network performance. Business can effectively leverage all available network connections to full capacity, facilitating the best performance of critical applications and helping to prevent costs associated with lost productivity.

SD-WAN also allows for bandwidth selection with the ability to mix and match network links according to content type or priority. Additionally, any backup connections frequently employed in WAN environments but rarely used, and therefore adding to the overall network costs, can often be fully utilised within an SD-WAN environment.

And while we’re on the subject of environments, an SD-WAN solution can also help eco-conscious businesses reduce their carbon footprint. With fewer devices on site helping to ensure better use of resources, the reliance on cooling equipment is dramatically reduced.

An easier ride for your business

As businesses continue to move their processes and applications from on premise to the cloud, they need to ensure their workforces are equipped with constant and consistent access to the data and apps they need, as well as guarantee a superior end-user experience – from seamless processes to crystal-clear video connectivity – especially when it involves the customer experience.

Businesses must ensure they take advantage of all the opportunities the cloud has to offer while maintaining local efficiency and visibility, so striking a balance between true scalability, security, and granular control is key.

Just as Uber transformed the business of hailing a ride, SD-WAN is transforming the business benefits of wide area networking. Designed to efficiently handle the high-volume of traffic that the modern and future world produces, it aims to give business owners a much easier ride when it comes to handling their overall estate. Most importantly, the tech ensures the network is always available. And let’s face it, the business consequences of a network going down are far greater than not being able to find a taxi.

International Data Corporation

The Background

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on business strategy and technology purchases.

The Challenge

IDC’s disparate UK workforce relies on seamless communications to perform effectively. Although it provides good telephony, the existing service was expensive and poorly managed. Billing was too retrospective, costs too high and back-end processes too slow. IDC needed a more responsive and flexible service designed for the demands of its EMEA-wide business.

The Solution

Following a collaborative process based on understanding IDC’s requirements and establishing a productive partnership, Daisy deployed a bespoke communications system so IDC can be more effective commercially and operationally. IDC’s existing Cisco telephone infrastructure was retained. By implementing Vodafone’s Business Traveller tariff, which offered a 25% discount on calls, with a reduced line rental for BlackBerry phones, resulted in a reduction in the expensive monthly administrative fees. Synapse, Daisy’s dynamic service interface, was installed as part of the solution to allow the IT team and management to have a birds-eye view of the amount spent on calls and be able to set caps and alarms to avoid unnecessary bill shock. A Prince-2 qualified account manager ensures that the systems transfer process was efficient and hassle-free. A dedicated, field based client manager organised quarterly business reviews to maintain high standards and bring the latest technological innovations to market quickly.

The Result

To date, Vodafone’s discounted Business tariff as well as a flexible call tariff on fixed lines, has given IDC considerable cost savings. Meanwhile, IDC now spends less time managing and chasing faults and repairs in the system, thanks to Synapse which automates such processes and updates in real-time. As a result, IDC has full visibility of Daisy’s performance against SLAs at all times.

 

HighNet Telecoms

shutterstock_507860266

“Throughout the planning and deployment of the new infrastructure Daisy’s technical expertise was vital, and its willingness to support us during out-of-hours made a huge difference. Having the technical lead working onsite with our NOC team during the preparatory phases ensured that we had the most productive and efficient knowledge transfer, and the engagement of all Daisy’s technical team has been excellent. We now have the high-capacity, future-proof network that we need to make our growth plans a reality.”

David Alldritt, Technology & Innovation Director at HighNet Telecoms

The Background

Established in 1994, HighNet Telecoms has become one of the fastest growing internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK, managing more than 17,000 business lines and billing more than 70,000,000 minutes a year. HighNet Telecoms supplies a wide range of communications products and services to businesses across the UK through its network of dedicated channel partners. Its extensive product range includes fixed IP and hosted telephony, broadband and data, mobile services and unified communications.

The Challenge

HighNet Telecoms needed to ensure that it continued to serve its current customers with the same degree of quality service that they were used to, whilst ensuring the network was able to deal with the rapid growth in customer demand it was experiencing. It needed to provide greater capacity and improved performance within the core network, but remain mindful of new technologies such as SDN and NFV. HighNet Telecoms wanted to upgrade and future-proof its current network for such technologies, as well as for anticipated further increases in bandwidth demand and increases in business use of cloud services and big data analytics.

The Solution

Daisy replaced the network with Juniper MX480104, which resulted in a full 10GB optical core that provides considerably more power. CPU and memory usage in the previous technology had been consistently above 70% but the Juniper MXs reduced this to around 10%. EX switching and SRX firewalls were also used to fully upgrade the independent data centre points of presence, designed specifically for business use to cope with high volumes of data and hardware redundancy, and ensuring that customers stay connected and backed up.

The Result

Core routers in London and Manchester prior to the upgrade were working with a CPU load of nearly 80%. The new MX routers CPU load peaks at less than 20%. Memory usage was at similarly high levels on the old network, and now is at 15% on the MXs. The MX routers have considerably greater capacity for establishing peering routes and reducing the volume of traffic sent across IP Transit. Consequently, HighNet has been able to increase peered traffic by 20% which not only improves the customer experience but also reduces its costs.