Many businesses are looking to the clouds as an opportunity to save capital investment and ongoing operating and maintenance costs. This is a hot field, with vendors scrambling to get in and establish themselves in the space. But how do you know what services are right for your needs?
It’s especially important for small businesses with limited resources to be sure they are getting the most for their IT and telephone dollars. One way to be sure is to try before you buy. With that in mind, we’ve complied a selection of cloud based services that offer a free trial period before you make a commitment.
Atlantic.Net offers a free trial of cloud hosting as an alternative to virtual private servers. Their platform is designed to let you build, test and deploy Windows or Linux servers in the cloud in a matter of seconds. You can run whatever software you need and pay by the hour for only the resources that you use. Atlantic.Net is committed to 100% uptime on their SAS 70 certified hosting solution.
BrowserMob offers a free trial of website load testing in the cloud. It’s important to know what your ecommerce or other web properties can handle before you miss an important sales opportunity because your site crashed from too much traffic. Run concurrent tests with real browsers, not simply HTTP requests. This service scales up to 5,000 concurrent browsers and 500,000 users with over 6,000 Mbps maximum data throughput to to handle the largest sites. Responsive expert testing advice helps you get results quickly.
Do spend a lot of time and money sending documents out for signature? RightSignature offers a 5 document free trial of their cloud-based document signature service. Rather than faxing or overnight mailing paper documents and waiting for them to be signed and returned, signers go online and create legally valid electronic signatures. You simply create your documents using standard office tools and then upload them to RightSignature. Then send out an email message with a link to your online document. The system creates a document signature certificate with signer information, audit long and unique ID number. Archiving is online, too, so you never have to hunt for a document again.
The rest of your paper documents also belong in the cloud. Shoeboxed offers a free trial of their document scanning and storage service in the cloud. This is perfect for anyone in business who deals with expense report receipts, business cards and other day to day documents that pile up on the desk. You can scan and file it yourself or Shoeboxed will do it for a very reasonable price. You just drop your papers in a secure mailer and soon they’ll show up on a secure online database. More than mere scanning, the actual information on the page is loaded into the database where you can export it to Excel, Salesforce, Outlook or other program of your choice.
Customer service is important for any company. Assistly offer a free trial of their customer service cloud solution. You get a month to see if it isn’t far better than your current methods of finding and responding to customer queries. This system includes social networks like Facebook and Twitter, as well as traditional email and toll free number contacts. As an integrated solution, everything you need is right there at the operator’s station in one easy to use tool.
Other services, from online meetings to toll free telephone, also offer free trial periods. Watch for free trial opportunities any time you shop online for business services. These are a great way to become confident that you are getting the right service at the right price.