Braintree, the Microsoft consulting and integration division of Vox, has announced the introduction of Azure KickStart, a scalable packaged cloud solution that allows small to medium businesses to embark on a cloud journey.

Data shows that lockdown regulations and economic pressures have led to organisations of all sizes downscaling their offices as they let employees work remotely. For small and micro enterprises, this poses a challenge in terms of providing employees with access to their files and applications stored on a server in the office, and in managing their on-premise equipment.

Related: Vox, enabling a digital work environment

“This is a clear example of how important it has become for organisations to embrace a remote working strategy by digitising their business processes and ensuring they can be securely accessed from any device from anywhere and at any time. This solution provides them with both the software platform as well as the advice and support that small businesses need in order to begin the shift,” says Heath Huxtable, Executive Head at Braintree.

Related: What is Microsoft Teams and why your organisation needs it

Braintree has developed Azure KickStart to provide organisations with a secure and scalable single cloud offering to enhance and manage their communication, collaboration and productivity, from R1 995 per month. The basic package brings together the critical services that organisations need in order to run their servers and applications in the cloud, as well as to manage their security and devices.

As clients progress in their cloud journey, they can add on more storage, cloud-based services, Office M365  and line of business solutions. Critically, Azure provides built-in, multi-layered security controls, enterprise grade threat protection against ransomware and zero-day attacks, as well as data encryption on both the server and client side.

Related: Vox launches customised firewall service aimed at SMEs

Data is stored in the Microsoft Azure Data Centre in South Africa, while built-in compliance tools ensure businesses meet international regulation and standards. All of this helps businesses strengthen their security posture, as well as reduce costs and complexity.

Braintree provides a managed environment, with businesses having access to a dedicated and certified team for architecture guidance, system administration and operations, monitoring and reporting, performance testing and tuning, with a single point of contact for Azure and Office support.

“There has been a change in customer behaviour as a result of the pandemic, and a majority of organisations are now looking to implement an e-commerce platform in order to cater to this demand. As an additional offering, Braintree has introduced a digital online store called QuickStore. Braintree can get customers up and running with QuickStore within 24 hours, from just R1 975 per month per business,” says Huxtable.

QuickStore provides business-to-business, business-to-consumer and direct-to-consumer companies with a digital store that enriches customer experiences and helps drive sales.

It is also hosted on Microsoft Azure, providing a 99.99% uptime.

Kickstart your journey into the cloud

The basic package includes; Security, Storage and 1 terabyte of Azure Backup. Meanwhile, Azure Active Directory helps organisations connect their employees, suppliers, and ensure that the right people have seamless access to the right applications and data from any location or platform, with a single sign-in.

The flexibility of the Azure platform means that businesses can set up any number of hybrid configurations combining on-premise and off-site, helping extend the lifetime of their existing IT infrastructure while reducing Total Cost of Ownership.

The  individual add-ons include Office, which gives users web and mobile access to the latest versions of popular apps such as Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote; and Teams, which helps improve collaboration and communication by bringing together meetings, apps and files in a single place.

Finally, for those organisations that are looking to move more of their operations into the cloud, Braintree Azure KickStart features standard, premium and customisable virtual machine offerings so that they can run line-of-business applications – such as accounting, payroll, production, human resources, customer relation management and much more – all in the cloud.

Related: Microsoft’s local data centres – To move or not to move?

“Braintree can help organisations migrate their open source databases to the cloud; if a business needs a database, they can easily add Azure SQL database to their KickStart package. Moving your entire operations from an on-premises server provides a cloud-enabled environment that helps businesses grow without being constrained by the boundary of physical walls or IT infrastructure,” says Huxtable.

For more information visit the Azure KickStart page on Braintree’s site.