Cloud based services for small business

Why and how to step into the cloud


In this fast-moving digital age, small and medium-sized businesses need to stay up to speed. More and more SMEs are choosing cloud solutions to deal with huge volumes of data, work efficiently, improve security, control costs and minimise risks. The team at Konica Minolta understand the needs of smaller businesses. We are ready to help organisations take to the cloud with confidence.

The main challenges in the digital age


  1. Businesses in all industries have to deal with huge amounts of data, arriving through various channels: phone calls, emails, letters, online forms, apps and social media. This flood of data is challenging for workers.

  2. It might also be a challenge for SMEs to efficiently operate and keep your existing IT infrastructure up to date and running to avoid downtime and negative business impact.

  3. Lack of mobility means that SMEs can't work in real time from any office, on any device. This holds companies back and prevents seamless cooperation.

  4. Other issues faced by SMEs are privacy and security breaches, due to e.g. not patched software. Using cloud security can be delivered to a higher level in many cases than could be provided in house. Especially for SMEs which are not able to allocate sufficient inhouse resources to data security cloud solutions can prevent severe consequences to the business caused by data breaches.


Loss of customers


All these challenges can be answered by flexible cloud-based services that take away uncertainty and put SMEs in control. 


How can SMEs small business take advantage of the cloud? 

Today, there are cloud computing and SaaS solutions for virtually every type and size of business. But SMEs don't need experience, resources and expertise to take advantage of the opportunities. All they need is the guidance of one of the Konica Minolta consultants. They help businesses to find the tailored answer to their needs.


From simple workflow to automatic invoice processing up to fully managed cloud and data center services, SMEs can choose whatever they need. There's also 24/7 support if they want it. By asking Konica Minolta to manage the entire IT infrastructure, businesses can relieve the weight of their operational responsibility and concentrate on doing what they do best. 


Get cloud services that fit your industry, structure and the way you like to work. 

How it works - the single point of contact

How it works - the single point of contact

More than a provider, Konica Minolta is an experienced guide. It helps SMEs to identify their needs, with an initial assessment of the situation and implementation of a solution. They can add on 24/7 support and Konica Minolta can also help them through any further development as their company grows. If they have a problem, Konica Minolta finds a solution. Thanks to its network of hardware and software partners, it can deliver whatever businesses might need to release the potential of their business. 


Does a fully cloud-based solution feel too drastic? If it seems like a step too far, Konica Minolta can develop hybrid solutions that bring SMEs some of the benefits and take them along a suitable path. 

quotation marks

"Businesses are able to become more agile, competitive and resilient, while at the same time freeing their workforce from the burden of inefficient processes"

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Cloud services for SMEs e-book

With the exponential growth in data, and faced by a need to compete in a fast-moving digital age, the decision to stay with outmoded legacy systems can mean that SMEs risk falling behind. With the benefit of a long-term perspective and a deep understanding of our customers’ businesses, Konica Minolta is helping SMEs get up to speed and take to the cloud.

Download E-Book now
cloud for SMEs e-book cover

Cloud based services for small business

Cloud based services for small business

Bring businesses the benefits of the cloud

A leap forward rather than a step into the unknown

Supporting SMEs as a partner, our consultant can walk businesses through the process and show them which easy-to-use tools can help. Konica Minolta explain how their business can thrive with more cost-efficiency, flexibility and security. Different processes can be integrated into a unified system. It will be robust, reliable and, of course, meet all regulatory requirements. No need to worry about software updates, data security, emergency recovery, cloud storage or backup with a cloud service designed for businesses. 

Higher Flexibility

Higher Flexibility

Enhanced mobility

Enhanced mobility

Improved security

Improved security

Affordable pay-as-you-use pricing

Affordable pay-as-you-use pricing

Predictable costs

Predictable costs

Success story

VBH logo

Simple everything. Everything simple.

Simple everything. Everything simple.

Building hardware of every kind is the concern of the VBH Group: For over 35 years, the market leader in the building hardware sector has supplied industrial companies and tradespeople with everything they need to manufacture and install windows and doors. The company's operations now encompass over 2,500 staff across more than 30 countries and in excess of 100 subsidiaries.



High-performance IT infrastructure


This means that the global organisation of IT is key to their success. Until now, VBH had operated its data centre independently for the many countries where the company is represented. However, the growing turnover and expansion of the VBH Group was pushing personnel and IT infrastructure resources to their limit. 


New IT capacity aimed to provide fl exible and reliable support for existing and future business alike. The objective was to realise the IT concept with as little expense as possible, faithful to the VBH motto “Everything simple”.


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Cloud services for flexible, cost-effective growth


In order to lower fixed costs and design the IT infrastructure with the flexibility to handle future growth, those responsible at VBH opted for the cloud services provided by Fujitsu rather than physically expanding their server cluster. The most important argument was an internal ROI calculation that showed that the cloud service was significantly less expensive than in-house operation. The fact that VBH wants central provision of uniform IT services around the world was another, weighty criterion for scalable infrastructure in the cloud.


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IT infrastructure services provided by Konica Minolta IT Solutions


VBH now receives server, storage and security services from the cloud. The Konica Minolta IT Solutions Group chose to work together with Fujitsu in the tendering process due to their coherent concept, in which the VBH IT team receives expertise in the ERP applications that are critical to their operations. As the central point of contact for VBH, Konica Minolta IT Solutions is responsible for maintaining the systems for Dynamics NAV (Navision), Exchange, Web Shops, etc., as well as providing second and third level support. In total, around 1,000 of VBH's
staff are working at locations around the world with the new cloud-based infrastructure, comprising around 90 servers. In line with the maxim of “Pay-as-you-grow”, in future only the IT capacity that is necessary for actual growth has to be paid for.


Migration without obstacles


The complete virtualisation of the servers and systems played a major role in facilitating migration to the cloud. In the middle of April 2011, all the data was initially mirrored on NetApp storage in the cloud and stored on a redundant basis in Fujitsu's new data centre. This approach meant that no hardware had to be moved and those responsible were able to thoroughly check everything before flicking the switch and permanently shutting down the old infrastructure.


The entire two-and-a-half-month migration process had no impact on users in their daily work because the changeover took place in stages, one system at a time and one location at a time, each taking just half an hour. Just a small number of infrastructure parameters had to be adjusted, such as firewall settings, IP address changes or establishing VPN connections. The servers also had direct access to the internet in the past, whereas the cloud solution routes access through secure proxy servers.


“Every project of this nature has challenges that need to be overcome,” explains Oliver Maisch, Head of IT International. “Nonetheless, what matters is that those responsible at Konica Minolta IT Solutions react quickly and find a good solution. And we've seen very positive results in this respect.”


Security and storage as a service


VBH also gave thought to web and e-mail security over the course of the project. Where previously an in-house anti-spam and anti-virus appliance was used, VBH now relies on a cloud security service.


Spam protection, anti-virus controls and updates are now entirely operated by the security service provider. VBH incurs neither additional licence costs nor administration expenses – because security is just as much a part of the complete solution as storage-as-a-service and backups.


Products and services

  • Server-as-a-Service: Approx. 90 virtual servers based on PRIMERGY and VMware
  • Storage-as-a-Service based on ETERNUS and NetApp vFiler
  • Backup-as-a-Service: Full backup in accordance with the agreed service levels
  • Security services: Anti-spam, anti-virus, webmail, etc.
  • Application management for the ERP applications Navision, Exchange, WebShop, etc.
  • Citrix XenApp server farm for approx. 1000 users, with mobile global access
  • Flexible IT infrastructure in the cloud
  • Storage system provision for the migration
  • Consultation, design and implementation in close collaboration
  • Konica Minolta IT Solutions Managed Services for continuous monitoring of systems


Konica Minolta IT Solutions Managed Services


Thanks to the individual Managed Service packages provided by Konica Minolta IT Solutions, VBH is able to focus all of their attention on their core competences. Konica Minolta IT Solutions takes responsibility for continuously monitoring the systems and, thanks to their on-call services, they introduce appropriate measures to remedy faults and issues even outside of regular working hours. The modular structure allows
customers to decide on the extent to which different systems are monitored. In this context, the superb quality of service and uniform, standardised processes substantially facilitate routine tasks for VBH.


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Expansion without IT limits


To date, around 1,000 staff work with the cloud services at the VBH Group's locations around the world. The last national subsidiaries are currently being migrated. This will double the number of users to around 2,000. The regular training that would have been necessary for IT staff in order to create the new systems and link them to the existing infrastructure would have caused the time costs to balloon out of all proportion. Thanks to the cloud, the expansion of the IT services at these locations nevertheless proved possible without great expense. “In addition,” argues Oliver Maisch, “hardware administration is not our core competence – the operational processes behind it are.”


After more than two years of live operation, Oliver Maisch is very happy with the company's trusting collaboration with the service providers: “To successfully implement an IaaS project of this size, the partners and the chemistry between the responsible people in particular have to be just right. Moreover, our experience has shown that the better the advance planning, the easier the later implementation of such plans.” Maisch also recommends a step-by-step approach: “It's better to migrate systems or companies in succession and carry out thorough testing, instead of aiming to do everything all at once.”


Products and services

  • 25% saving compared to in-house operation
  • Drop in fixed costs due to services rather than new hardware
  • “Pay-as-you-grow”: Only the services actually required for growth have to be paid for
  • Centralisation of IT in a secure “Trusted Cloud”
  • Greater flexibility for growth without expanding the workforce
  • Straightforwardly link additional locations in other countries
  • Capacity can be increased at short notice at any time
  • More personnel and financial resources available
  • Concentrate on core business
  • Expertise crucial for operations stays in-house
  • Migration avoids impacting on business operations
  • Standardised services with consistently high quality

Challenge

Challenge
  • Global growth of VBH Group called for their IT infrastructure to be adapted and upgraded
  • Expansion of the IT landscape to include new hardware and software would largely have led to higher fixed costs and more costly IT administration

Solution

Solution
  • Fujitsu operates server, storage, security systems and backups, as cloud services based on PRIMERGY, ETERNUS and NetApp systems
  • The package is complemented by Konica Minolta’s Managed Services

Advantages

Advantages
  • Costs saving
  • Flexible solution that grows with VBH and be rolled out to locations around the world with ease

Success story

BE-GE Group logo

A secure and reliable local IT infrastructure with all the benefits and the flexibility of a cloud solution

A secure and reliable local IT infrastructure with all the benefits and the flexibility of a cloud solution

The Be-Ge Group is the world’s oldest manufacturer for suspended driver seats and is among the leading suppliers of seats for buses, forklifts, industrial trucks, forestry and construction vehicles, trucks and railway traffic. The Swedish family-owned group of companies runs operations in Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.



Reliable operation, availability and data security 

For a manufacturing company and supplier to the automotive industry in particular, ensuring the continuous operation of many different production sites distributed throughout various countries poses certain challenges. The most crucial one with regards to IT: Safeguarding an absolutely reliable operation and securing availability without interruption while maintaining a maximum of data security. 

As a decade-long partner of this manufacturer, Konica Minolta knows its requirements quite well. With the implementation of a holistic, tailor-made IT solution, which can be rolled out throughout all production sites of the Be-Ge Group individual­ly, Konica Minolta is not just delivering hardware and software licenses, but serving the customer as a reliable long-term service partner, helping their personnel to focus their time and resources on their core business. 

From a financing perspective, despite having the solution located on site, Be-Ge is in fact only paying for the resources actually used each month, having the advantage of managed hardware at their production sites without the disadvantages of fixed hardware and software costs. This hybrid cloud solu­tion encompasses all functionalities crucial to the customer like back-up service, disaster recovery protocols and software & hardware updates and upgrades, which are key advantages for Be-Ge to be able to serve their highly demanding custom­ers even better


A single point of contact letting you focus on your business 

As a supplier for the automotive industry, Be-Ge Group has to abide to very strict delivery rules. With timing of production being highly sensitive within this supply chain, missed delivery deadlines entail significant penalty fees. Like many production companies, Be-Ge’s operations rely heavily on on-premise IT. Hence, reliable systems and IT infrastructure close to the production, build the basis for a sustainably successful busi­ness. “Konica Minolta understands our business perfectly. We cannot afford any downtime of our IT systems. To ensure this, they provided us with a cloud solution that is located on our premises but monitored and maintained centrally by Konica Minolta”, says Reza Shahrbani, IT-Manager Be-Ge Sweden. 

Through a single point of contact, Be-Ge wanted to have their complete IT needs covered by one reliable long-term partner who takes clear responsibility and truly knows where to put the emphasis to tailor a holistic solution to their exact require­ments. 

The so-called Remote-Pod concept set up by Konica Minolta provides a redundant on-premise high ability infrastructure as a service (HA IaaS) solution, where server hardware is placed at the production site of the customer for reliable offline on-site access, but is managed externally from Konica Minolta’s data centre – including a full service desk support. 

With monitoring as a service (MaaS) and back-up as a service (BaaS), the Konica Minolta experts are able to constantly monitor and back-up all customer systems at their data centre ensuring a secure operation. In case of a disaster, the customer’s operations can be up and running within a matter of hours at a different location with access to all data needed. The sources of possible IT threats can be detected early and countermeasures can be applied immediately. The package also includes licensing as a service (LaaS), giving the custom­ers full access to the necessary software in the scope they really need it. 


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Individual site rollout for multiple international locations 

This Remote-Pod solution was developed by Konica Minolta with the concept in mind to be able to roll it out at various in­ternational customer sites of different size individually, without the dependence on a centralised IT or software infrastructure, while still maintaining a homogenous system architecture. Hence, Be-Ge was able to implement Remote-Pods at their nine largest operations in the first step and include further pro­duction sites in individual processes afterwards. For the Be-Ge Group, it is a very valuable asset to know that they can rely on Konica Minolta’s international service and support through their service desk.

BE-GE Group - Reliable IT Infrastructure for 24/7 production

Since the production of the Swedish automotive supplier BE-GE Group depends on IT, their infrastructure needs to be higly reliable and modern. We support them with our extensive IMS (Infrastructure Management Services) experience and enabled our customer to be independent from internet failure through a local cloud solution.

Challenge

Challenge

Cost-effective decentralised cloud solution for a virtual workload with all the benefits of local hardware, which can be placed anywhere in the world

Solution

Solution

Complete package of hardware and software based on a Windows Server 2016 Clustered Hyper V solution with shared storage and monitoring, backup and service desk support from Konica Minolta

Advantages

Advantages
  • No hardware or software costs for Be-Ge
  • Be-Ge only pays for the resources they use every month

Get in touch

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