“I see a red door…

… and I want to paint it – green.” This could have been the lyrics to the Rolling Stones hit, had it been written 40 years later. Green has become a synonym for our efforts to preserve our environment. And, as is often the case with good intentions, the tag “green” has been overhyped and sometimes misused, which in turn has led to the term fading out of business and IT conversations. Now, ecological sensibility has come of age and seems like a matter of course – to most Germans, at least. Maybe that is why we in cloud computing emphasize benefits like flexibility and cost efficiency, whereas the ecological benefit appears more like a nice side effect. It is definitely worth giving it some thought, however.

Cloud and green are a good fit. With cloud computing, enterprises are more likely to reach their sustainability goals. Take the Vogelsänger Group for example, an advertising agency with a focus on multimedia and events, and one of the first agencies certified as a “Sustainable Company”. They were looking for a flexible solution that could meet their ecological requirements. They found it in our Fujitsu Cloud Store. I think the Vogelsänger Group is a typical representative of many enterprises in Germany or worldwide. It also serves as very good proof of how cloud computing can help run a business more effectively.

Let’s look at the details. As an event and communications agency, the Vogelsänger Group employs around 150 people at six different locations. Additionally, they rely on numerous freelancers who help out during big projects and events like a concert or an image film. This used to mean that hardware and software experienced very different peaks in demand. Additionally, Vogelsänger paid high fees for its project-management software since a license was required for every single person who worked for Vogelsänger – even if just briefly.

Thanks to the Fujitsu Cloud Store, those times are over. “Free at last”, Peter Texter, CEO of Vogelsänger Event, sighed with relief when I met him. Now the group can simply add users to the Web-based BBL Projecta project-management solution on demand – and remove them just as simply, once the project is finished. Another benefit: remote access is faster and more reliable than before. What is even better, since they don’t need an in-house server anymore, they can save the electricity they’d usually need for air conditioning.

What about security? What about privacy? Isn’t there important data wandering into the cloud, away from the premises? Yes, there is – and that’s the advantage. The operator of the data center now expends the effort that is usually associated with security or backup. The data is not just anywhere in the cloud – it’s in one of our data centers, such as the one near Heilbronn in the South of Germany, one of the most secure of its kind. If a small or medium business like Vogelsänger wanted to carry out all of this on its own, it would involve an investment that cannot and will not pay off. Moreover, it also offers an advantage for the SW partner, in this case, the BBL-Software Group. Since they are now cooperating with a well-known and trusted partner, they can guarantee their customers a high standard of security.

This shows how perfectly cloud computing aligns IT with business needs. It also illustrates how the ecosystem, consisting of data center operator, ISV and end customers, works. It is neither fiction, nor wishful thinking. It’s not cloudwashing – it’s reality.It’s green. And Rolling Stone is a cool rock band.

Yours sincerely,

Andre Kiehne

Author: Andre Kiehne

Director Solution Sales, Microsoft Germany GmbH

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