There's lots of pressure on IT folks these days to address three issues at the same time: mobile, cloud computing and social networking. That's a lot for even the largest of organizations to take on simultaneously. But business users are being relentless in their demands that IT organizations be proactive about delivering these capabilities to the organizations starting preferably tomorrow.
The interesting thing about these three trends is that in many ways they are really just natural extensions of each other, which is the thinking that went into the development of a new Bitrix cloud computing service that was launched today.
According to Stephen Ankenman, senior technology consultant for Bitrix, the Bitrix24 creates a social intranet workspace in the cloud that combines 30 content, project, collaboration, communication, reporting and management tools under a common social media-style interface. That interface makes the environment simple to use in a way that can easily be extended out to mobile computing devices using both HTML5 and native interfaces.
In addition to allowing users to share files via the cloud, Ankenman says the service also includes a customer relationship management (CRM) application that is integrated with a content management system. And the entire service can be integrated with any number of other applications via an open application programming interface that Bitrix has made public.
There's obviously a lot of competition when it comes to collaboration in the cloud, but Bitrix has taken this whole concept one step further. Ankenman says that if a customer chooses they can take their entire instance on the Bitrix cloud and move it to the on-premise server of their choice. That means from an IT perspective an organization could address cloud, mobile and social networking issues in one fell swoop, while still retaining the option to figure out what they want to do in terms of public versus private cloud computing deployments tomorrow.
Bitrix may not be that well known in the U.S., but it turns out that it has been working on this platform since 1998 when the company was founded in Russia. Now based in the U.S., Bitrix on a global basis claims to service over 60,000 customers.
Nobody likes to be rushed into anything, IT organizations in particular. But when it comes to cloud computing services, not many companies allow customers to keep their deployment options open, which is a shame because the thing most people want when they are uncertain about anything is the flexibility of keeping their options open.