Providing access to data from anywhere is the main reason for using the cloud.
90% of companies are using the cloud for some purpose.
Cloud data centers will process 94% of workloads in 2021.
89% of companies use applications in the cloud.
The managed services
Your cloud environment includes internet connectivity, intrusion prevention devices (firewalls), network switches and routers (LAN/WAN), workstations/desktop, disaster recovery systems, printers and other peripherals, email, smart phones, etc.
To keep all this infrastructure and your cloud-based applications and data working smoothly requires maintenance and monitoring. Velvet Systems’ managed cloud services does everything you need, including:
- 24x7x365 network monitoring.
- Security management – managed antivirus, simulated phishing attack exercises, and vulnerability scan / penetration testing.
- Backup monitoring.
- Mobile device management.
- Email backups.
- Proactive maintenance of all your on-premises infrastructure – network devices, workstations, printers, etc. The maintenance includes security patches, operating system updates, and regular testing.
- Proactive maintenance of your cloud applications as needed.
- Microsoft and 3rd party application updates.
- Monthly network reporting.
- Asset management.
- Microsoft365 licenses with automatic updating.
We prepare your organisation and your systems for managed cloud services by ensuring everything is up to the right standard, including:
- Auditing your on-premises infrastructure that you will use to access the cloud and upgrading as required.
- Network setup as required.
- Internet upgrade as required.
- Onboarding security training.
- Documenting your system if needed.
We will also fully manage the transition of managed services from your existing service provider to Velvet Systems if you have one.
If you need new infrastructure as you move to managed cloud services we have an experienced project delivery team who can deploy anything you need from a simple workstation to an enterprise grade disaster recovery solution.
When challenges happen you are in good hands. Velvet Systems provides the right level of care to get things working again:
- If your business is unable to function because of a failure we will provide an immediate response. If we cannot provide a solution remotely, we will dispatch a field support technician.
- If your business is enduring challenges but is still able to function our standard response time is within 2 hours and is often much less.
- Our mix of remote support, onsite support, and after-hours support ensures your business keeps running.
To support your business moving into the future Velvet Systems includes the following as part of your managed cloud services:
- A dedicated Account Manager.
- A defined amount of project labour each year to use as you like.
- Regular partnership navigation committee meetings for you to share your needs and for Velvet Systems to share industry trends and provide strategic guidance.
Ozcrete Pools has been using Velvet Systems for many years now. Ozcrete saw 2020 in moving to Velvet Systems Managed Services. This has seen even better value for money from Ozcrete's point of view and during this time Ozcrete had moved to using Microsoft's Share Point management software, giving our company added ability to monitor our daily work schedules.Ozcrete PoolsBrisbane
Velvet Systems have been looking after our business needs for many years. They are always helpful and efficient. Recently, we moved office and we were so grateful to have the Velvet team on our side, working for the best possible outcome. I would recommended them to anyone needing IT support and guidance.Brisbane Wealth managementBrisbane
You guys are fantastic! Thank you for always being so helpful and efficient! Jeremy is always great when he comes out to the office to assist!Samantha GBrisbane
How to use the cloud securely and reliably
Ensure the following things are in place and your cloud experience should be secure and reliable:
Workstation security. Your workstations must be secure – centrally managed, with managed antivirus, up-to-date security patches, and up-to-date operating system patches. Unauthorised use must be prevented in the event of loss of the device or access by malicious agents.
Office network security and reliability. When using the cloud a network failure is a critical event. Your office network should have in-built resilience (e.g. network device redundancy), have properly limited network management access, have limited and strictly managed user access, and have all network devices physically secured. All network devices must be proactively monitored and proactively managed. Security patching and the IoS and must be kept up-to-date.
Internet connection reliability. When using the cloud, if your internet connection goes down you lose access to your applications and data. Careful design of your internet connection is necessary to minimise your down-time. This might include different connection types, multiple redundant connections, using edge devices from different manufacturers, etc.
Network protection. Protecting your internet connection(s) and internal network from intrusion is necessary and usually means installing an intrusion protection device like a firewall. To be effective, firewalls must be regularly updated and must be proactively monitored.
Protection from data loss. Cloud applications are generally resilient, but the cloud is not infallible. Disaster recovery capability is a real necessity. You should use a managed disaster recovery solution and the backups should be stored somewhere different to the cloud services providers you are using, possibly somewhere local so you can access it physically if needed (Velvet Systems is hosting disaster recovery solutions for local clients in our private cloud facility). The ability to restore your applications and data must also be regularly tested. Velvet Systems also has a dedicated disaster recovery service offering.
Protection from cloud provider unilateral decisions. Prudent risk management asks the questions: What do you do if your cloud provider “goes away”? And what if they unilaterally decide to make your mission-critical application end-of-life? Sometimes it is better to use a hybrid cloud approach where most of your information technology is in the cloud, but you keep your “crown jewels” applications and data on-premises in your own office.
How well does your current managed services provider meet your needs?
Migration – does your service provider have the experience to be able to help you migrate applications, data and workflow management to the cloud?
Cloud knowledge and breadth of experience – how much do they actually know about the cloud? Do they have the skills and experience to look after all your cloud needs? Do they need to research the answer to every question you ask? Do they have experience running their own in-house private cloud?
Availability – can your service provider respond 24x7x365 for your mission critical systems?
Fast response time – how quickly does your service provider respond to a call for help, and do they have severity levels that inform different response times and approaches? Do they have a formal escalation process?
Budget planning – are the costs predictable?
Disaster recovery capability – does your service provider “have your back” in the event of a disaster? Are they experienced with cloud-based disaster recovery (Disaster Recovery as a Service – DRaaS)? Are the right backups available? Is the recovery capability regularly tested?
Third-party vendor partnerships – can your service provider bring their partners to work with your business, for example a Microsoft partnership?
Is on-site support available when needed?
Security testing and monitoring – does everything have current antivirus? Does you provider provide training, penetration testing, phishing exercises?
Support for your employees – does your service provider relate to your staff in a confident, warm and friendly manner, particularly during times of stress?
Proactive maintenance – does your service provider keep all your infrastructure maintained and up-to-date?