Microsoft Cloud Computing has been proven effective even in the snail mail business. The United Kingdom’s “Royal Mail”, the equivalent of The U.S. Postal Service, went to a cloud solution in face of the 2008 depression and a mandate to shake off some expenses. The inefficient IT operation was already a patchwork of outsourcing but it was not dynamic at all and the bulky contract had them on the hook for maintenance contracts as big as there data bandwidth bill. They owned a Lotus Notes dinosaur and it wasn’t even in their back-room.
The switch was made gradually into Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), which is hosted entirely in the cloud at CSC, the Royal Mail’s new IT service provider who also is a Microsoft Cloud Computing broker. Servers, software, storage and bandwidth are supplied on demand, insuring that Royal Mail pays only for the resources that it consumes. So when the when staff numbers grow by 20 per cent to adjust for the Christmas rush, the IT systems are scaled up accordingly, automatically and then backed off again in January.
The Royal Mail has recently opted to roll out another of solutions, Hyper-V, meant for sensitive business applications such as order processing and online.
In this private cloud environment, all the advantages of cloud computing like flexibility and scalability remain, while sensitive data is kept on premise and under direct control. The Royal Mail plans additional Microsoft Cloud Computing applications in the future.