Infrastructure solution company Triple4 is to launch a self-service portal with a difference to enable clients to access cloud-based services on 1 February 2013.
Kevin Mortimer, Triple4's MD, explained that while self-service is a defining characteristic of cloud computing, many business clients prefer to have professional help available should they need it.
"We have essentially created a 'managed customer zone' that will allow super-users within the client organisation to provision IT services for themselves or colleagues, but with the option of assistance if they require it," he said. "We are making the convenience of self-service that many people have experienced in their private capacity practical within the business context, especially for small and medium-sized organisations that do not have large IT competencies."
Mortimer emphasised that the super-users can be nominated via the portal, and can include anyone within the company.
"When we designed the portal, we researched extensively what companies actually want, and we worked with non-IT people within client companies to develop terminology that resonated with them," he said. "This approach makes the site very user-friendly. The key design principle for us is the quality of the customer experience."
Mortimer believes that Triple4's approach to self-service will have the effect of helping clients control employees' use of cloud services. At present, many companies are finding that employees bypass cumbersome IT department processes to access cloud services quickly, leading to a proliferation of IT services being purchased outside of the corporate IT budget and, more importantly, strategy.
"By making it easy for line managers to become super-users and, thus, quickly give their colleagues access to cloud-based services, the Triple4 portal will remove the need to bypass the 'system'," Mortimer observed. "Staff will get the on-the-fly access to services they want, while IT will be able to fulfil its governance role."
The portal will initially offer access to email services as these are ones for which most elasticity is required. It will also allow users to access contract information, log support, access a knowledge database and review overall activity on the account. Thereafter, communication services/ voice over Internet protocol and collaboration services will be phased in, followed by the rest of the Triple4 stack, including infrastructure as a service.
For more information, go to www.triple4.co.za
or contact Bradley Smith on +27 (0)11 265 9800.