How you get your start-up started? You need two things before you can embark on a new business venture: a good idea and a bit of courage. If you have got these two basic elements, you’re well on your way. The international start-up scene shows no lack of good ideas or business acumen; just look at Start-up Night, an event recently held in Berlin on September 2 and 3. Around 200 newly established firms presented their concepts and products to thousands of guests.
Experts from Open Telekom Cloud also took part in the event and, as well as announcing this event, gave some advice to founders about IT infrastructure in the cloud. The cloud offers entrepreneurs numerous advantages, for example no upfront investment in infrastructure – something that could otherwise cost thousands.
In the end, ideas and courage are not the only things needed to make a start-up successful and, above all, viable. The road from an innovative business idea to an established company has many pitfalls which could threaten a company’s existence.
The basic question with start-ups is this: will a company be successful in the market with its idea or just end up being a total flop? The possibility of failure hangs above a start-up like a black cloud. Financing is a fundamental aspect; maintaining liquidity, keeping fixed costs to a minimum, and trying not to commit to any major financial liabilities are major factors in avoiding a premature knock-out.
This is where the cloud comes to the rescue. We’ve put together five examples inspired by catchy tunes to showcase why the cloud is perfectly suited to meet the needs of start-ups. Let’s begin!
1. “Que Sera, Sera!” – scalability allows for short-term resource planning
Doris Day put it in a nutshell at the end of the 1950s: „Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be“. At the beginning, start-ups cannot predict if and when their idea will take off. This uncertainty demands IT infrastructure that can adapt flexibly to the ever-changing needs of the business. Flexibility is already the distinguishing feature of the cloud. With Open Telekom Cloud, customers can adjust their IT resources anytime thanks to tailor-made provisioning. Let’s take a carpooling portal as an example: Car ownership, particularly in larger cities, is becoming less common and so many people share cars to stay mobile. Via a portal, users can see who’s driving to the same destination, for example to a festival or concert. You can call up this information anywhere, anytime on any device. Users stay in touch with each other thanks to up-to-date data.
An app for such a service can be quickly brought to market via a cost-effective sales platform. But what happens if no one uses the app or, on the other hand, half the country does? An IaaS solution such as Open Telekom Cloud ensures even high-peak performance is constantly good and in times of lower use, server capacity is adjusted flexibly according to demand. This minimises financial risk. Software solutions such as Office 365, Microsoft Exchange or Security Solutions are equally scalable; per user or per device licenses can be scaled out or back anytime.
2. “I need a Dollar!” – Cost control thanks to flexible pricing packages
It is debatable if just “a dollar” is enough as in Aloe Blacc’s song – but one thing is certain: start-ups used to invest in minimum IT infrastructure based on assumptions in the business plan – even taking the risk that the resources purchased would never be fully used – and this is no longer an issue thanks to the cloud. With an IaaS solution such as the Open Telekom Cloud, a start-up can now reserve resources according to their individual needs when business is booming or roll back when less resources are needed. Invoicing is based on a pay-per-use model so the monthly invoice only covers what has actually been used or needed. If, in the worst-case scenario, the business is forced to cease trading, the economic costs– at least in the IT area– are manageable. This would be very different if the company had invested in their own IT infrastructure such as servers and storage. Even cloud-based versions of software applications are usually more cost-effective compared to previous on-premise solutions and can be invoiced and cancelled on a monthly basis.
3. “Should I Stay or Should I go?” – The death of vendor lock-in
English punk rockers “The Clash“ asked in 1982 “Should I Stay or Should I go?”– an important question in life and business. A business should be able to answer that question for themselves and not leave it up to their provider. Start-ups are particularly well advised not to get themselves into a technical dead-end. When deciding on the right type of IT infrastructure, companies should give themselves an escape route in order to quickly change IT provider should the need arise. While many cloud providers use proprietary technology or protocols, IaaS solutions such as Open Telekom Cloud are based on OpenStack. Thanks to this open, flexible architecture, start-ups can avoid being tied-in to a single provider for cloud computing, so-called vendor lock-in.
4. “Above the clouds!” – Secure environment for sensitive data
In 1974, Reinhard Mey described the “World above the Clouds“ (Welt über den Wolken): “All our fears, all our worries, are hidden down there.” If you don’t want to worry about your corporate data in the cloud, data security needs to be airtight, particularly when confidential data is stored and processed in a “cloud”. Not all start-ups focus on data security when developing their idea. However, if they do, new companies can trust in the Open Telekom Cloud. Open Telekom Cloud is located in German data centres, conforms to strict German data protection rules and is therefore best suited to the business models of start-ups with high data protection requirements.
5. “Whenever, Wherever!” – Easy to use – no limits
In 2001, Shakira sang about boundless love, and Deutsche Telekom’s cloud solutions are equally unlimited. It doesn’t matter if young entrepreneurs are working in the local coffee shop, on the train, or on another continent. No matter where you are, Open Telekom Cloud’s IT resources can be scaled up, Microsoft Office 365 licenses for new employees can be reserved, and other services can be ordered. Being flexible with time and independent of location are important criteria for start-ups that can be solved by using cloud solutions.
Company founders should have no worries about moving to the cloud even if a start-up doesn’t have an employee who is particularly knowledgeable about IT systems. After registering with Open Telekom Cloud, users can choose and gather the resources they need via a browser. With just a couple of mouse clicks, a number of resources are be available in just a few seconds. If new customers have any technical problems with registration, there is Hotline Support available. Deutsche Telekom’s cloud experts provide knowledgeable and straightforward support for your journey to the clo
Tip: The right cloud provider is decisive
When choosing a suitable cloud provider, start-ups should not only look for a company that covers their initial needs of scalable IT resources but also can also provide wide-ranging IT services in the future: for example, system integration, when the business becomes well established. Open Telekom Cloud can fulfill these needs. Deutsche Telekom’s relationship with its subsidiary for corporate clients, T-Systems, means the company has access to experts who have experience in business processes within several sectors. These experts possess fundamental knowledge in general IT and are specialists with know-how in integrating systems. The decision for a cloud solution must be made with the bigger picture in mind.
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