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Making Business Easier in the Cloud

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Upware, Comcast’s online marketplace, boosts businesses by taking guesswork out of business apps

By Ray Child, Sr. Director, External Affairs/Public Relations - Comcast Mountain Region

When it comes to running a small business, there is never enough money, time or staff. Luckily, in this information age, there are solutions that help make up for running lean. Small businesses can’t compete with the budgets or staff of large companies, but they can use innovative technology to make life easier.

It takes a lot of hard work to grow a small business, and it’s much easier to focus on building a business when things like data security and cloud collaboration are taken care of.

In a world with so many tech options, it can be difficult to sort out the quality services from the noise. With a small business to run, and time being poured into other efforts, cloud-based apps can save a lot of time. The cloud removes the hassle and cost involved in running servers and software, and shifts the technology burden to the provider.

Cloud-based apps should not become just another worry for small business owners. Using the cloud means maintenance-free services on anything from backing up data to storing email. The business pays for the services they use, and the provider makes everything run smoothly. And, because there aren’t any hardware costs involved, services are easily scaled up and down, according to whatever a business needs.

To save money and avoid stress, many small businesses are turning to the efficiency and ease of cloud technology to help run the company. As demand grows for cloud-based computing, providers are also growing to meet demand. Unfortunately, not every provider is created equal, and the vendors who deliver top-notch services are competing with those that are sub-par.

In order to help small businesses quickly and simply decide what company is right for them, Comcast Business, a leading provider of high-speed Internet, launched Upware in February. Upware addresses the three main challenges small businesses have when it comes to the cloud: selecting the right service, managing it and getting quick and effective support. It helps business owners find vendors that understand what small businesses need, takes the stress out of management and gives business owners the support if troubleshooting is needed, because entrepreneurs should be focusing on their businesses instead of worrying about technology.

Upware represents a best-in-class collection of cloud-based services that cover online data backup, security and anti-virus, and collaboration and file management applications. They include Carbonite® and MozyPro® for online data backup; Norton™ and DigitalSafe® for security and anti-virus; and Box, Soonr Workplace®, Hightail™ and Microsoft® (hosted Microsoft collaboration and file management tools such as Outlook and SharePoint).

Upware makes it simple to choose from carefully selected cloud services by curating the best providers. It also features customer reviews, detailed product descriptions and free trials to help small business owners as they make decisions about which vendor to select.

Even better than helping decide what vendor to go with, Upware has made managing cloud services a breeze. There’s no more wrangling with user accounts for each employee – a daunting task if a company has even 15 employees using four different services.

Instead of creating an administrative tangle by managing 60 or more accounts, not to mention having to take the time to update accounts each time an employee joins or leaves the company, Upware gives employees a single login for all of their applications (accessed quickly through the “My Apps” tray on their screen). Administrators have an Upware dashboard that gives them a comprehensive view of all services and the users assigned to them so they can manage all accounts and change permissions as needed.

And if there are any hiccups along the way, Comcast is the point of contact for Upware-related issues. With this enhanced support, business owners no longer have to hunt through notes or email archives for the correct customer support number. Now Comcast Business will do a top-level diagnosis to assess where the problem is and make further recommendations if needed.

Business owners not only save time and money in the beginning, but as new top-tier applications come to market Upware will add the best of the best, ensuring entrepreneurs are focused on what they do best instead of struggling to keep up with every new provider that comes to market.

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