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40 posts

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#195739 2-May-2016 12:09
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Hi there

 

 

 

Sorry if this sounds a bit 'green'. I am helping my family set up a new accounting practice after going out on their own.

 

 

 

We are setting up IT and getting pretty confused with the best solution.

 

 

 

I'd like to have a cloud computing option like a hosted or virtual desktop, so everyone can log on remotely and bring their own devices and log on to their desktop.

 

 

 

We have been quoted $150 per use per month for hosted desktop with Microsoft programs by a couple of companies in NZ. (we have 5 people).

 

 

 

I have also been looking at AWS and Rackspace solutions are perhaps aimed at bigger businesses than ours.

 

 

 

My question is - is it worth using a company to offer a hosted desktop and pay the per user per month fee, or do you think we could get by by just using Microsoft 365 on our laptops and using cloud services like Xero that can be accessed anywhere.

 

 

 

I'm sorry if this doesn't quite make sense - i'm getting slightly confused myself but am hoping someone can offer some advice or shed some light. 

 

Happy to answer any questions :)

 

 

 

Thanks!


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  #1545293 2-May-2016 12:18
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AWS is cheaper than that. Microsoft 365 and Xero would probably be cheaper and easier. The firm or people working in it can get Xero certified, I think.




40 posts

Geek


  #1545297 2-May-2016 12:23
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Thanks - yes the are all Xero certified and are using Xero. We have been working in a large firm with IT systems all in place such as hosted desktop, and now have gone on our own.

 

 

 

We thought we could just use Xero and our other cloud apps like insightly etc but thinking it might be a more streamline solution to use a virtual desktop like AWS so we can log in remotely (although we will be using our laptops).

 

 

 

We're just not sure and don't want to sign up for services that we don't need. 

 

 

 

In saying this - is a service like AWS makes business really easy for our team, we would be haply.

 

 

 

The $150 per user per month price from NZ companies seemed steep to us.

 

 

 

Would you advise a company to use a virtual desktop like AWS, or is it not necessarily a gamechanger?

 

 

 

Any advice appreciated - perhaps you've helped set up something in the past?


 
 
 
 


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  #1545322 2-May-2016 12:43
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First up, given there is potential liability and loss of income if things turn to custard, my advise would be to consult a professional, even if they are just providing a bit of guidance, and especially if you decide to keep things in house rather than going hosted.  Disclaimer:  I am one of those professionals (Auckland-based).

 

Hosted Desktop solutions shift the costs from PC maintenance to the monthly hosting cost.  Rarely is money saved with any Cloud services - it just goes out in a different direction and is an operational expense with reduced capital expenditure.  There is an advantage to handing off the problem to a reputable hosting company if the in-house IT skillset is limited.  You can still use Office 365 email accounts with a Hosted Desktop solution, and these may be cheaper than the provider's own Exchange offering.  In most cases if the price difference is small it's better to stick with the hosted desktop provider's infrastructure for ease of troubleshooting.

 

Ask the vendor about backups.  Know EXACTLY what backups you will be getting and how far back you go.

 

If you decide to do something in house, BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS.  Have a plan for 'if things go slightly wrong' and for 'if the proverbial really hits the fan'.  Test these strategies several times per year.





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  #1546512 4-May-2016 10:49
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jumcc87:

 

I'd like to have a cloud computing option like a hosted or virtual desktop, so everyone can log on remotely and bring their own devices and log on to their desktop.

 

 

 

 

Bring Your Own Device: seriously consider security concerns with that. You have no real control what staff do with their own
personal laptops , kids could be playing on it at night , users going to risky websites when at home.
Then they use that laptop to log into your cloud based systems. You only need 1 BYO device to be hacked.... its unlikely, but very possible.

 

Its horrifying the number of professionals who let their kids use/play on the PC's & laptops they do all their business on.

 

 

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  #1546523 4-May-2016 11:07
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Most small organisations that I consult to use cloud hosted apps like Xero etc so there isn't much need for a standardised remote desktop environment as the apps can be quickly and easily accessed.

 

 

 

$150 a month for a hosted desktop is about right - this is a good option if you have legacy apps that run off a server that need to be installed.

 

 

 

I would suggest a NAS setup properly with user accounts and passwords and a cloud backup solution and a good antivirus product with Office and Email provided by Microsoft 365.


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Master Geek


  #1546537 4-May-2016 11:37
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If everything you are going to use can be run out of a web browser, then a hosted desktop is overkill. 

 


Get yourself a chromebook, and use Office 365, Google apps, etc. No need to arrange file storage, as this comes as part of their offering.
Backups of mail and documents are all taken care of by large cloud providers, with a better pedigree than anything you can find locally.

This gives you the advantage of being able access your "stuff" from any device, anywhere, and not be reliant on anything other than an internet connection.

 

 




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Geek


  #1547135 5-May-2016 12:37
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thanks all - great advice!


 
 
 
 


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Master Geek


  #1547829 6-May-2016 21:21
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jumcc87:

 

Hi there

 

Sorry if this sounds a bit 'green'. I am helping my family set up a new accounting practice after going out on their own.

 

We are setting up IT and getting pretty confused with the best solution.

 

I'd like to have a cloud computing option like a hosted or virtual desktop, so everyone can log on remotely and bring their own devices and log on to their desktop.

 

We have been quoted $150 per use per month for hosted desktop with Microsoft programs by a couple of companies in NZ. (we have 5 people).

 

I have also been looking at AWS and Rackspace solutions are perhaps aimed at bigger businesses than ours.

 

My question is - is it worth using a company to offer a hosted desktop and pay the per user per month fee, or do you think we could get by by just using Microsoft 365 on our laptops and using cloud services like Xero that can be accessed anywhere.

 

I'm sorry if this doesn't quite make sense - i'm getting slightly confused myself but am hoping someone can offer some advice or shed some light. 

 

Happy to answer any questions :)

 

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Microsoft Office 365 ($13.50 per user per month)+ Cloud services (ie Xero) $55 (unlimited users) and a support maintenence contract with a (decent) local  IT company should run cheaper than this. Remember that the cloud services have a over the phone/online support model so you will get some support services for their product use. And then a support maintenance contract with a local IT company will help round off support for the hardware that you use. This should be much cheaper than the $150 per month for a hosted desktop


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