This blog post will provide business owners that are looking for remote working solutions, valuable insights into Hosted Desktop (Managed Cloud IT) services.


What an extraordinary time we find ourselves in. If you had said to anybody only 3 months ago that the majority of the world would be in lockdown, facing a global pandemic, they would have smiled and walked off.

It’s a menace more easily imagined on Netflix, akin to War of the Worlds, yet here we are in a very dark and surreal situation.

The virus itself presently has no cure. Indeed, it says something when both our medical and scientific boffins are baffled on how best to play this complex game of cat and mouse.

With the severity of the medical emergency of primary importance, I won’t patronise you, the reader, with insights that you already know.

However what I’ll touch upon is the secondary effects of this pandemic, not least the utmost requirement for remote working, to keep your business moving.


Lockdown – surely more a term for prison inmates?

As we know, on 24 March the UK government called for a “lockdown” state for everybody. This has largely followed the theme applied in European countries as well as the world at large, following both China and South Korea’s successful examples.

And with this lockdown status, comes the directive: “businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible

This is for the obvious reason that the more people engage in social distancing at home, the less likely it’ll spread within the population, therefore buying nations precious time for preparations.

However, this now poses quite the problem for business owners, as all businesses have desk-based workers at least to some degree. In fact many businesses are exclusively desk based, such as accounting, legal and recruitment firms.


So how can these business owners ensure that their staff have the means to work from home?

How can they offer their IT systems, including access to all data, applications and telephony, to their employees, whilst they’re at home?

It might be that you have a server in your office which works ok when you’re in the office, but just not when you’re at home. Reliance on VPNs and clunky workarounds are fine for a couple of hours or days.

But the problem we’re all facing is that this lockdown might continue until the end of May (May!?). That’s a long time if you’re having to “make do” with a performance & functionality compromised IT system. 

It goes without saying your remote workforce is going to be down on productivity, which over time will make your business function even more difficult.


What can you do to ease the burden of a remote workforce?

remote working with a laptop

So what’s the answer here? Does any silver bullet exist to get your remote workforce working optimally from home? Fortunately the answer is – a resounding yes. And this silver bullet is called? Hosted Desktop


Hosted Desktop is Managed Cloud-based IT service, which reached maturity some years ago and has been a staple within the SME and corporate world for some time.

It is essentially an IT platform in a box, whereby you can place all of your business applications and data in one super-secure and accessible location.

Effectively, a service provider (such as Cloud2Me) spins you up your own set of servers located within a data centre located within the UK.

They then carefully transition all of your business applications and data, setting up your new environment, exactly to your business needs.

Then you connect to your new service, securely, from any Windows PC or Apple (Mac) PC within moments.

When you connect to your Hosted Desktop, you’ll be running on a Windows 10 based environment, so it’ll feel like home for you and your staff. Especially as all your apps and data will be there as you need them and exactly as you are used to.

But the beauty of this service is that all your staff have the same rich, well-performing, secure and reliable service, regardless of where they login from or on what device. 

No VPNs, no half measures – instead, full fat, supreme access for all staff to your IT systems. 


Handy tip: one of the great things about Hosted Desktop, is that “thin clients” also known as “mini PCs” can be purchased from Amazon Prime or eBay and for a song. At just £100, they’re cheap as chips and take all of 5 minutes to set up, ready to connect to your business Hosted Desktop platform.


What’s more, your provider takes care of items such as backups, security, and disaster recovery, all of which are run from ISO 27001 UK-based data centres. We ourselves operate from four data centres based in the South of England (South London, Reading, Maidenhead and Gatwick).

The icing on the cake is that a Hosted Desktop service comes with a regular IT support service. Be it updates for your programs (Microsoft Office, IRIS, Virtual Cabinet, Digita, Taxcalc, Sage, Quickbooks, Microsoft SQL, etc.), adding new staff members or helping you set up a printer, it all comes as standard with the service.

In summary the Hosted Desktop can be a direct replacement for your existing IT service. All the while, by coincidence, it suits the remote workforce, perfectly.


Setup and migration

Naturally there is a transition in moving from your existing IT environment to a Hosted Desktop environment. And it goes without saying, it’s a delicate process. However our team have the process down to a fine art and handle the whole migration, with no interruption to your business.

Check out our previous blog post to learn more;


So how long does all this take, we hear you ask?

It usually takes us anything from a week to four weeks to move a business into our Hosted Desktop service, depending on the size.

However in recent weeks we have boosted our onboarding capacities to meet the growing demand. 

Fortunately we’ve been able to take advantage of fantastically skilled IT workers that needed a new role as a consequence of Covid-19. As a result we’re now able to fast-track customer onboarding to days instead of weeks, all the while ensuring our quality standards are not getting compromised.


Sounds great, but how much does all this cost and what’s the tie in?

The Hosted Desktop service is billed per user login per month and costs anything between £25 – £50 PCM, depending on what your existing circumstances are with regards to Microsoft Office and email. I.e., whether you wish us to supply these two supporting items.

Furthermore we have two varieties for Hosted Desktop technology (Microsoft RDS and Citrix). Depending on your requirements we can advise you on which technology will suit your business best. 

In terms of contract commitment, we normally offer 1, 2 and 3-year agreement terms. However we are now offering quarterly agreement terms to give people the option of using the Hosted Desktop service during the coronavirus outbreak. That said, we have a feeling you’ll love the service so much, you’ll stick with it even when the coronavirus has passed!


Summary – necessity breeds creation

We’re living in uncertain times and coronavirus/Covid-19 has certainly thrown a cat amongst the pigeons. 

Businesses are having to adapt radically both for survival and, to a lesser degree, just to keep their workforce running optimally. 

Fortunately technology is at hand to provide some much needed lifelines for business owners. 

Not least a Hosted Desktop IT system will ensure that you have one less thing to worry about. In fact we think when all this blows over, you’ll wonder why you’ve not done it sooner!


We’re ready to help

If you would like further information on how Cloud2Me can help your business, call us on 01737 304211 or email info@cloud2me.co.uk.

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  • “When I was looking for a hosted desktop solution, I wanted something that was reliable, secure and affordable. I shopped around the market place and Cloud2Me came up highly on all accounts.”

    Peter Bradley – Director
    Integral Talent

  • “We would certainly recommend the services Cloud2Me supply. Much less hassle than building our own cabled network, and Cloud2Me are very quick and helpful when responding to any questions.”

    Tristan Haines - Director
    Zepho Enterprises

  • “I was amazed at how quick the hosted desktop works, faster than my laptop! I love that I can have a pure business desktop which I can access from my windows desktop, home MAC and iPad. Cloud2Me has been a perfect solution provider. ”

    Graham Forbes - Director
    Interesting Apps

  • “I would highly recommend services from Cloud2Me. They’re good value, but most of all the service is excellent. There’s always support available at the end of the phone and Cloud2Me always go that extra mile to help out.”

    Charles Cridland – Director
    Your Parking Space

  • “We were initially cautious and uncertain of the security of working like this – this is something we have swiftly put behind us, the system is completely secure and reliable. Based on our experience I would highly recommend this service to anyone considering an ‘office in the cloud’ with Cloud2Me.”

    Bryn Towns - Director
    RoqSolid

  • “The technical support provided by Cloud2Me is great. Furthermore, I find the service offered by them to be very flexible and tailored to meet our individual needs… The way we are able to access our server wherever we are has transformed the way we work.”

    Dwain Coward
    Coward & Co Solicitors - Senior Partner

  • “I have not had any hitches and any maintenance they carry out never disrupts the services. The customer service is fantastic, even when I email late on an evening I still get a quick response that night, or first thing the next morning. I highly recommend Cloud2Me and their services.”

    Jody Nicholl
    Boolas Bakery

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