A Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM system, has become an essential component in every company’s sales and marketing engine

October 28, 2014

CRM-2013-announcementBecause customers are a company’s most valuable asset, relationship management is an essential element of the pre-and post-sales process. Companies like Bridge Bank have found that a managed private cloud for Microsoft”s Dynamic CRM system is an extremely customizable and scalable solution for not only managing prospect touches but offers a customer-driven response based on their input and/or activities.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM also integrates seamlessly with Microsoft’s more popular applications, such as Office, Outlook and SharePoint.

The ability to utilize such a tool in a hosted cloud environment only increases the effectiveness of customer relationship management. Because access is available through a browser, users can access and manage “touches” from their mobile device, home office or from anywhere internet access is available. To read about how Bridge Bank utilized Project Hosts’ CRM SaaS solution, saving their own internal IT staff and resources from having to deploy and manage an on-premise CRM system, click here.

“We consider Project Hosts as a virtual member of our IT Team, leveraging their expertise in CRM Hosting to enable us to meet our customer needs and business goals more effectively and efficiently.” – Thuy Long, Assistant Vice President, Marketing Database Manager, Bridge Bank

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

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Custom Cloud Advantages (Advantages of A Managed Private Cloud)


Interview with Scott Chapman by CEO/CFO Magazine On The Advantages of A Managed Private Cloud

October 20, 2014

Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – October 13, 2014

You can read the full interview with Scott Chapman at this link.

 

Gold-Hosting-ScottCEOCFO:  Mr. Chapman, would you tell us the basic concept of Project Hosts?

Mr. Chapman: We provide custom cloud hosting of Microsoft applications. When I say custom cloud hosting, that means instead of having a generic application deployed on shared servers, we give companies a more tailored application experience on their own private or dedicated cloud. We typically provide customers with dedicated servers, either physically dedicated or virtually dedicated, so that they have all the application control, flexibility, and customization that they would have if they deployed on premise or managed their own private cloud. And even though it’s a customized solution, they still gain the convenience and all the benefits of being in the cloud. We host Microsoft Project Server, the leading project management solution in the industry, SharePoint for collaboration, and Dynamics CRM for relationship management. We are now also starting to host Dynamics ERP applications and Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.

CEOCFO: What do you look for in your people?

persoon-to-person-supportMr. Chapman:  A significant reason why our customers choose us, and continue to stay with us, as opposed to a public cloud provider is our unique personal-approach to working with customers. We brand this as our Person-2-Person services. Many cloud providers shy away from providing direct, personal support, and prefer to provide things like community bulletin board support, or self-service automated FAQs. We are just the opposite. I’ve built this business on providing strong relationships with our customers and partners. If something goes wrong, for whatever reason, I believe the customer should have direct access to our company, and our people. As such, I look for people who take a customer-first perspective and are thinking about what the right thing is for the customer. That not only applies for the salespeople but also in the operations and support staff that are interacting with the customers. For example, we have many customers in the healthcare business whose deployments need to be HIPAA compliant. They may have questions about whether HIPAA requires certain technical configurations, such as encryption of the databases at rest. Our people answer these questions and put in place the correct technical controls and configurations to meet each customer’s requirement.

Read more about Project Hosts’ managed Project Server Managed Private Cloud, Dynamics CRM Managed Private Cloud, and SharePoint Managed Private Cloud solutions

 

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

SharePoint Public Cloud and a Private SharePoint (Custom) Cloud comparison

Custom Cloud Advantages (Advantages of A Managed Private Cloud)


SSRS Report Enabler for Microsoft Project Online service integrates reporting for two cloud services

October 14, 2014

Project Online Free TrialReporting is a critical function for any Project Manager, whether their PPM is on-premise or in the cloud. When considering reporting in a public cloud environment such as Microsoft Project Online, for a long time, users have found that they simply could not. Thanks to Project Hosts and the SSRS Enabler, Project Online users have been able to create Business Intelligence (BI) reports using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Analysis Services (SSAS) in a completely seamless experience. Project Hosts takes its SSRS Cloud offering and integrates it with Microsoft Project Online, creating a Hybrid Cloud solution for Office 365 customers.

ssrs-custom-cloudThe SSRS Enabler is easy: Project Online users simply click and link and view SSRS through a single sign-in option. It’s affordable: a ready to run environment with two affordable plans, based on data size and the number of users requiring SSRS Reports. Perhaps the most important benefit of this service is how well supported it is. As a Project Hosts service, the SSRS Enabler is supported by our Person-2-Person customer support department. Real people vs FAQs and community web support.

An added benefit of the SSRS Enabler is the fact that SharePoint Online customers can also publish their reports. Many on-premise SharePoint users experienced frustration when moving into a public cloud environment when it came to their lack of reporting ability. Now reports created in report builder can be accessed using the SSRS Enabler provided by Project Hosts. Click here to learn more about Project Hosts’ SSRS Enabler and begin reporting again in a Hybrid Cloud environment.

“Who is Project Hosts and why are they a such a different type of hosting / cloud company – find out in this one-on-one interview from CEO/CFO Magazine and Scott Chapman.”

Click here to compare Microsoft Project Online and our other Cloud Services

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

SharePoint Public Cloud and a Private SharePoint (Custom) Cloud comparison

 

 


Which Cloud is right for you – a Private Custom Cloud or a Public Multi-Tenant Cloud for Microsoft Project?

October 6, 2014

project-server2013-custom-cloud-business-man2

Over the past decade, cloud computing has been on the rise. In 2011, 72% of CFOs noted that they were using cloud computing for improved business agility according to a BDO USA, LLP survey. With a steady increase in enterprises turning to the cloud, many might wonder whether they would benefit from a Public or Private cloud environment. The answer really depends on the company and their specific needs. Project Hosts provides Custom Cloud hosting of Microsoft applications. Instead of having a generic application deployed on shared servers, Project Hosts gives companies a more tailored application experience on their own private or dedicated cloud. Public Clouds, such as Project Online are shared multi-tenant clouds that do not support the degree of customization and security typically required by many enterprises. If you’re looking for business flexibility, application control and customization, specialized security policies, and real-time BI / reporting, you’re going to want the physical or virtual dedicated servers offered in our custom private cloud environment. Government agencies, Global 2000 and Fortune 500 enterprises typically require a more integrated solution for their applications and data.

publicvsprivate-cloud-oct2014An important reason why our customers choose our managed private cloud services over a standard public environment is our unique personal-approach to working with customers. Our Person-2-Person service gives customers direct, personal support as opposed to sending them to a community site or self-service automated FAQs. If something goes wrong, our customers have direct access to Project Hosts and our people. For over a decade Project Hosts has offered security, flexibility and integration in a way that a Public Cloud simply can not. To learn more about Project Hosts’ Custom Cloud, click here to take a Tour, Trial or Demo products

“There is tremendous demand for, and growth in cloud-based solutions because of the inherent economic advantages that all clouds provide. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of confusion about what different types of cloud architectures can and cannot do, and the level of customization and integration with other applications and data that is possible.”

- Scott Chapman

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

SharePoint Public Cloud and a Private SharePoint (Custom) Cloud comparison

Custom Cloud Advantages (Advantages of A Managed Private Cloud)


Cloud Security – Differences Between Public Clouds, Private Clouds and Government Clouds

September 30, 2014

Security_CloudFor enterprises and government agencies moving from an on-premise deployment to a Cloud-based solution, “security” consistently ranks as a top concern. Generally speaking, most Cloud solutions offer a higher degree of security than their on-premise cousins. The reason for this is simple – business that provide Cloud services must incorporate enhanced security protocols to remove any doubt from their potential customers’ IT staff. There are, however, security differences between different types of clouds – most notably between Public Clouds, Private Clouds, and Government (FedRAMP) Clouds.

At a minimum, most Cloud providers begin with an ISO 27001  industry-based security certification and must be re-certified on a continual basis. Private Clouds extend the level of security beyond what typical Public Clouds offer, with variances based on a customer’s specific requirements. For example, some organizations require dedicated servers (virtual or physical servers), encryption of data at rest, access restrictions to limited IP ranges, custom password policies, and more. Many of these enhanced security requirements are only possible within Private Clouds, hosted by the customer or by a partner like Project Hosts.  Differences between Public and Private (Custom) Clouds are highlighted in the security table on the PPM Custom Cloud page of our website.

ProjectServer-FedRAMP-Ed-allFor maximum security, the U.S. Government has mandated, through its Cloud-First initiative, a FedRAMP authorized level of security for Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) with IaaS, PaaS and SaaS offerings. This translates into FedRAMP authorized Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service that include an additional 400 security controls. As of mid-year 2014, government agencies moving into a Cloud, must choose a CSP services that are FedRAMP authorized. Project Hosts provides government agencies with a hosted Project Server (PPM) Cloud, a hosted Dynamics CRM Cloud and a hosted SharePoint Cloud that meet FedRAMP authorization at a IaaS and PaaS level, and will soon be SaaS-level authorized. You can track our authorization progress  on the FedRAMP site.


Seamless and Real Time Business Intelligence Reporting with a Microsoft Project Server Private or Hybrid Cloud

September 23, 2014

Project-Server2013-Custom-Cloud-BusinessmanAs a project management organization grows, it becomes increasingly important to be able to extract actionable information (or Business Intelligence-BI) from the significant amount of inherent data contained within the Project Server cloud. Over the last several years, the Microsoft SQL Server has greatly expanded its information processing, analysis, and reporting capabilities. Even Gartner has taken notice of this, and now ranks Microsoft as one of the top leaders in the BI magic quadrant. Key SQL Server tools such as Reporting Services (SSRS) and Analysis Services (SSAS or OLAP) unite with key SharePoint tools such as Dashboard Designer and SharePoint-based PowerPivot to provide an extremely powerful BI platform. None of the tools mentioned above are available in Standard PPM Public Cloud solutions, but they are all available options in Project Hosts’ Custom Private Cloud for Project Server 2013.

Microsoft’s Project Online Cloud supports Excel Services for reporting (including Excel-based PowerPivot running on a user’s PC), but only when the data is accessed using the OData protocol. OData is a new protocol that has been designed in order to allow users to access parts of a database via https. One disadvantage of OData is that it is significantly slower than accessing databases directly via SQL calls (as can be done in Private Clouds). A second disadvantage is that OData reports on static data. A solution that overcomes this disadvantage is Project Hosts’ SSRS Report Enabler. Project Hosts’ SSRS Report Enabler is a Hybrid Cloud solution that works with Project Online. It’s an online service that allows customers to create Business Intelligence reports using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Analysis Services (SSAS) from their Project Online solution.   Microsoft demoed our SSRS Report Enabler solution at this year’s Project 2013 Conference, you can watch from this page.

tabletThe User experience is completely seamless- users view reports by simply clicking on a link in Project Online and then view SSRS and/ or SSAS- powered reports of their Project Online data, without any additional logins. This gives customers the ability to create and use powerful SSRS and SSAS database reports to gain better program visibility, reduce risk and improve ROI. For enterprises with a medium to large amount of project and resource data, the Public Cloud restriction to only access databases via OData will still mean that users will have to face very long wait times for reports to populate with new data. Enterprises that would like to use the full power of the leading BI tools on the market today can achieve this requirement by choosing a Private Cloud or a Hybrid Cloud configuration through Project Hosts and our partners. Click here to see our Business Intelligence Packages.

 

 

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

SharePoint Public Cloud and a Private SharePoint (Custom) Cloud comparison


Hosted Microsoft Project Cloud Exceeds Expectations with Application Integration to Outlook, Excel and other Applications

September 16, 2014

Application Integration in the Custom Cloud

Whether you work within an enterprise organization or government agency, Project Hosts ensures that your goals and expectations are exceeded with a Hosted Microsoft Project Private or Hybrid Cloud solution. With these solutions, employees throughout the organization have immediate and secure access to critical information 24×7 and have a holistic solution that operates seamlessly with applications such as Outlook, Excel and Marketing Automation Systems. In addition, users adoption and training are much less of an issue as these solutions benefit from Microsoft’s highly familiar and intuitive user interface. Click here to see an example of this in our case study with BBC Worldwide.

Your cloud success depends not only on a strong solutions architecture, but on a rich set of applications that are tuned for your business, and backed by the app provider. Working with leading app providers, we extend standard cloud app capabilities by offering:

Standard Public Cloud services, plus,

Full trust code for 3rd party apps and Microsoft add-on apps

Custom Web Parts

OS and DB admin access privileges on dedicated servers for apps providers and tech terms

Hybrid Solutions that connect Public and Private Clouds to on-premise applications and resources

VPN to on-premise applications and dataApplication_Integration_Needs

Project Hosts offers Private, Custom Cloud solutions for hosted Microsoft Project Server, Dynamics CRM cloud solutions and applications-enabled Sharepoint deployments.

“The Project Hosts CRM Custom Cloud solution has helped us achieve our business goal of putting clients first, and fully enabling customer relationships. The hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution gives our employees the ability to better support and service clients, while delivering seamless integration with our Outlook email and marketing automation solution. Project Hosts provides all the capabilities of an on-premise private cloud, but without all the costs and complexities.”
Thuy Long,  Assistant Vice President, Marketing Database Manager, Bridge Bank

Click here to read the entire Case Study.

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

SharePoint Public Cloud and a Private SharePoint (Custom) Cloud comparison

 


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