Two disruptive cloud tech firms – both headquartered in Yorkshire – have announced an industry collaboration to supercharge the digital transformation solutions delivered to clients.

Managed IT specialist CloudCoCo, based in Leeds, will strengthen the cybersecurity offering provided by us here at Vapour. And in return, we will enhance CloudCoCo’s infrastructure with the addition of security-first SD-WAN connectivity – a cost-effective, scalable cloud technology that integrates network and user security, with ease, for high performance remote working.

The alliance signals the latest in a series of strategic partnerships for us – as an organisation that has never shied away from joining forces with the industry’s brightest talent, when approaching customers’ digital transformation projects.

“Organisations – certainly in the larger SME market and above – don’t expect or want a vendor to be a ‘jack of all trades’ anymore,” explained CEO Tim Mercer. “They seek to place their trust in a small number of proven experts who will listen carefully to the brief and deliver exactly what the business needs. Partnerships, in this environment, are therefore key. But they have to be carefully formed, between specialists whose technologies, standards, and cultures, are on a par, with no exceptions.”

With both companies closely aligned with enterprise cybersecurity giant Fortinet, the credibility of the two brands was clear when discussions to partner first began.

“We’re here to demystify cloud technologies to make the impossible, possible,” Tim added. “You can only do that by remaining straight-talking and customer focused at all times, and sometimes going against the grain. We’re not afraid to do that, and neither is CloudCoCo. I think both companies – and the teams within them – are respected for their honesty, so we’re a good fit when it comes to devising solutions, together.”

Like Tim, Mark Halpin’s cloud-first vision was also dismissed when he too left the corporate world to set up CloudCoCo. Fast forward three years, and the business now has more than 1,000 customers, £27m turnover, and has recently acquired managed service provider IDE Connect and Nimoveri IT Support.

“I was told I was cloud cuckoo for believing the managed IT sector had become slow, unresponsive, boring and broken, so in April 2018 I left my long-term job and built a company of agile, fiercely passionate, and supremely talented cloud, cybersecurity, connectivity, hardware and hosted voice professionals,” explained Mark.

“Tim and I share a similar back story and many values too – not least a passion for delighting customers with the help of progressive people and powerful technology that doesn’t have to be complicated. This partnership could mean great things for both our respective teams. CloudCoco has an unlimited ambition in terms of growth, so the future starts now.”

Vapour is also forecasting 25% revenue growth by the end of the financial year.

Here at Vapour, we've launched a new connectivity solution for organisations seeking the advantages of both a public and private cloud environment.

The newly unveiled Express Connect service offers customers the opportunity to route their data via Vapour’s ISO27001-accredited infrastructure, so that they can achieve a dedicated private connection to their public cloud service.

This means businesses benefit from the public cloud capabilities of AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google, for example, without their traffic going via the internet. The result is an optimum user experience in terms of bandwidth and speed, as well as complete peace of mind when it comes to security.

Express Connect also helps lower organisations’ network costs, boosts IT control, reduces jitter and latency, and enhances overall network performance. It is fully integrated by design – which means budget transparency – with the flexibility to scale up or down as business needs evolve.

This extension to our toolkit is a bold move having invested millions of pounds in our own private MPLS networks.

“Our goal has always been to provide customers with high-performance networks with resilience and security in-built as standard,” explained CEO Tim Mercer. “And, being cloud-only since day one, we were not satisfied with the industry’s readymade solutions, so we built our own private infrastructure.

“This will absolutely remain a critical part of many companies’ cloud architecture, as the public cloud is not right for every application. However, we’re taking the story on, by using that private network to power fast, secure and seamless connectivity with multiple public cloud service providers (CSPs).

“All too often, the market pushes what it wants to sell, rather than offering people choice. As hybrid cloud becomes increasingly popular, we want customers to explore what is truly right for them, without sacrificing resilience or performance.”

Express Connect is available direct to end customers, but we have also devised a reseller solution for channel partners too.

In our latest webinar ‘Unleash the UC capabilities of Microsoft Teams — Introducing TeamsLink’, we partnered with Wavenet to explore how organisations can make the most of this advanced, feature-packed tool, to take their use of Microsoft Teams to the next level.

Remote and hybrid working has dominated the news throughout the pandemic, and having accelerated the digital transformation of businesses globally, it’s here to stay. But collaborative working requires unified platforms that can meet the needs of organisations without the need to jump in and out of different channels like Slack, Zoom, email and the basic telephone.

So, while 200 million people now participate in Teams dialogue in a typical day, we know this game-changing platform could work even harder for your business.

In this 60-minute webinar, we therefore introduced TeamsLink. With one tool for messaging, video meetings, calling, file sharing, analytics and more, the intuitive online portal gives complete visual control over the management of users and call flows. It also offers the opportunity to uncover otherwise untapped business intelligence to analyse true workplace performance, service levels, engagement, and morale.

If you missed our virtual event, you can watch again to experience:

Who can TeamsLink help? Well to put it simply… everyone. Many companies are merely scratching the surface when it comes to their true collaboration, productivity, and reporting potential.

Watch the full webinar recording here.

Want to research a little further first? Check out our TeamsLink information hub.

Think Microsoft Teams has revolutionised your business? You haven’t met TeamsLink yet!

Cloud technology disruptor Vapour is taking Microsoft Teams to the next level with the introduction of TeamsLink – a powerful direct routing solution which enables efficient, compliant external voice calls from within Microsoft Teams.

In the knowledge that hybrid working is here to stay, and has accelerated the digital transformation of businesses globally, this solution is fully cloud-based and aims to supercharge the Unified Communication capabilities of companies large and small.

Microsoft is the leading vendor in the UC market. And with over 230 million active 365 users every month, and 500,000+ organisations using Teams, it’s time to make it work harder for your organisation, believes Vapour CEO Tim Mercer.

“We’ve all been wowed by the impact that Teams has had on our working lives,” he said. “And we’ve seen incredible adoption rates at an astounding pace. But so many companies are merely scratching the surface when it comes to their true collaboration, productivity and reporting potential. We’re here to address that.”

With one tool for messaging, video meetings, calling, file sharing and more, TeamsLink’s intuitive online portal gives complete visual control over the management of users and call flows. It also offers the opportunity to uncover otherwise untapped business intelligence to analyse true workplace performance, service levels, engagement and morale.

Want to know more?

The easiest way to understand how transformative tech can be is to see it in action. So, Vapour is offering a behind the scenes look at TeamsLink’s functionality, in an information-filled webinar on 20 July.

In this 50-minute session – ‘Unleash the UC capabilities of Microsoft Teams — Introducing TeamsLink’ – Vapour will be joined by Barry Ward, product director and TeamsLink specialist from Wavenet.

The straight—talking event will cover:

Interested – find out more and register your place.

Want to research a little further first? Check out our new TeamsLink information hub.

Disruptive cloud specialist Vapour has launched a new Technology as a Service (TaaS) proposition, as the progressive firm continues its commitment to aiding the digital transformation of businesses large and small.

With TaaS commonly perceived as merely a lease plan for hardware and software procurement, there is far more to Vapour’s offering.

The goal is to support customers with the consistent delivery of high-performance technology, applications, and endpoint security, with proactive device imaging for a seamless user experience, plus the compliant handling of redundant kit and ongoing IT support.

But there will be no such thing as ‘one size fits all’, says Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer.

“Whether we’re supporting a rapidly growing business with the onboarding of new staff, at pace, or handling a customer’s rip and replace strategy, the key to a value-adding TaaS proposition is flexibility,” he said.

“We’ll work with the customer to ensure every new device is supplied complete with the apps, functionality, UX and security that the employee requires – all they need to do is log on! This ticks many boxes, not least in terms of efficiency, quality control, minimal IT headaches and procurement simplicity. And everything is available for an affordable fixed price per user.”

With global environmental pressures mounting, Vapour predicts the take-back element of the TaaS offering will prove particularly popular.

Head of transformation and compliance Carol McGrotty added: “The TaaS contract can include the compliant recovery of redundant equipment with complete audit trail – to uphold customers’ data destruction and environmental responsibilities. Working with an AATF, we’ll ensure devices can be reused where possible, for maximum sustainability benefits but none of the security worries. And if the equipment is beyond repair, it will be processed for recycling.”

As a recognised Microsoft CSP, customers can source any Microsoft product or service, through Vapour – including Teams licences, Azure, hybrid cloud, and backups – with one wrap-around support solution, analytics across the collaboration stack, and direct escalation into Microsoft if needed. However, the company is technology agnostic so will produce a TaaS agreement tailored to customers’ individual requirements. For more information, please visit www.vapourcloud.com/solutions/technology-as-a-service/

Cloud technology disruptor Vapour has launched an SD-WAN solution – powered by Gartner Magic Quadrant leader Fortinet – to integrate endpoint and network security for the hybrid workplace.

Deployed as a software licence – with three levels of support available on a ‘price per user per month’ basis – the solution facilitates endpoint visibility and management, secure remote access for employees irrespective of location, and automated threat intelligence and response.

Mindful that IT leaders are seeking zero-touch provisioning, this technology is even simpler to roll out, as no hardware installation is required. The service has been 12 months in the planning.

With transparent visibility to each endpoint, the solution gives IT teams full control over individual compliance, and ensures that endpoint-borne risks such as firewall weaknesses or unsecure home routers will not pose a threat to corporate networks.

Security workflows are automated for proactive ongoing management, and dynamic controls mean the SD-WAN technology ‘fixes itself’, based on colleagues’ security posture, and the speed, performance, and traffic on the network at a given point in time. Potential security threats are also raised, and incidents contained almost instantly.

Commenting on the timeliness of the launch, Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer said: “We all know that the traditional 9-5 is long gone, with employees seeking increasing flexibility from their working day –especially when it comes to location. Many people are keen to remain at home, some are hungry to return to the workplace, and others want the fluidity to decide from one day to the next.

“Hybrid working is definitely the future, but this isn’t the easiest to manage from a network security perspective. This is exactly why we’ve launched this solution – it’s powerful technology designed to liberate businesses, as they move forward in a post-Covid world.”

Vapour’s market research revealed that most organisations are reliant on VPNs only, but the cost and time associated with managing this approach to network security means the solution is usually available for a limited number of senior colleagues alone.

Vapour’s senior network engineer Salim Ramzan added: “The beauty of our software-focused solution to secure hybrid working, is that it is technically brilliant, but operationally effortless. Even the ‘Lite’ version of the licence includes functionality that I predict 40% of IT leaders don’t currently have.

“That’s the benefit of investing in a security-first cloud architecture – security lies at the heart of it, rather than it being an afterthought. For example, a sandbox feature automatically identifies potentially malicious inbound content, sends it to Fortinet and explores its validity, in seconds, before allowing it to land in the recipient’s inbox. If the sandbox is dissatisfied with the outcome, the content is held and the IT director is alerted so that they can investigate it further, in a secure environment, if they wish.”

Further information on Vapour’s Lite, Premium and Pro licences, can be found at vapourcloud.com/SD-WAN-hybrid-working

Cloud specialist Vapour has joined forces with global IT solutions provider The ICC Group (ICC), to deliver a next-generation managed service proposition for customers.

The collaboration follows ICC’s appointment of well-known industry name Gary Saunders, who will be responsible for growing the managed service division to a multi-million-pound revenue business, in only two years.

With a 60-strong nationwide team and an extensive customer base within the SME, enterprise and public sector markets, ICC’s market success to date has primarily been a result of its hardware product and maintenance offering. But recognising the ever-evolving needs of customers, and rising demand for proactively managed services, the organisation sought the skill-set of an experienced Microsoft CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) to bolster its already successful partner portfolio.

The collaboration means that when ICC customers want to embark on a digital transformation journey, or a cloud-first overhaul of their communications infrastructure, the two firms will join forces to deliver something that truly satisfies the requirements of the brief, and best leverages the expertise of both teams.

“As is the case with any partner we choose to collaborate with, critical to ICC is an unswerving commitment to putting the customer first,” explained The ICC Group’s CEO, Leon Wheeler. “So, whether we’re devising a business continuity solution rich with disaster recovery functionality, a savvy comms platform to facilitate productive remote working, or an analytics layer to unlock business intelligence, it has to centre on what the customer needs, not what we’d like to sell.

“This sounds like such an obvious statement to make, but you’d be surprised how much of this still goes on – and it just doesn’t cut it, especially in the current landscape.”

Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer added: “Like Vapour, ICC is a technology-agnostic business that doesn’t push its own product agenda. These guys don’t try and sell something from their kitbag, just because it makes life easy. They really get to the heart of the customer’s requirements and develop the right-fit solution from there. I’m excited to see where we can go, together.”

Vapour has already taken The ICC Group itself from a legacy on-premise voice system to a licence-based softphone environment designed to support the increased productivity, flexibility and connectedness of colleagues, whether they’re based in one of the company’s four offices or working remotely.

“Even this simple transition for our own business, will bolster our grip on what’s going on – particularly for customers interacting with our service desk,” said Gary. “Armed with more intel, we can fine-tune the level of service we provide. We can analyse email and instant message dialogue too, which would traditionally have only been possible with a very expensive omnichannel platform. This is exactly the type of functionality we can open up to our customers, with ease. There are even Technology as a Service options in the pipeline.

“It all comes down to adding value, and the perception of value has changed significantly in the last 12 months. Customers need agility from their supplier – that’s what leads to long-term relationships – and that’s exactly what we seek in our suppliers too.”

Known for helping organisations unleash the power of cloud computing, whatever their size, we’ve put our heads together to give companies a much-needed boost during 2021.

SAVE ON INDUSTRY-LEADING CLOUD TECHNOLOGY… IN THREE EASY STEPS!

1.Vapour’s secure cloud servers 

State-of-the-art cloud hosting with 99.999% uptime, in our secure, private, ISO27001-accredited data centres.

Benefit from three months’ half price on any IaaS bundle and achieve increased security, resilience, scalability, performance and support from cloud-specialist engineers:

Small Hosted server bundle2 Core CPU, 4GB RAM, 40GB SSD£38 per month*
Medium Hosted Server Bundle4 Core CPU, 8GB RAM, 80GB SSD£78 per month*
Large Hosted Server Bundle8 Core CPU, 16GB RAM, 200GB SSD£159 per month*
With storage of only £0.05 per 1Gb and free migration*excludes licenses

2. Industry-leading Veeam cloud backups

Recover the data you need, quickly and with minimal fuss, if the unexpected happens, to reduce downtime and maintain BAU.

Backup workload typesCost per unit
Workstation£3.00
VM£5.00
Physical server£8.00

And now save even more:

12-month contract50% off for 3 months
24-month contract50% off for 6 months
36-month contract50% off for 9 months
Includes free migration!

3. Microsoft 365 backups

Microsoft 365 usage exploded in 2020, but why do so few businesses backup their accounts?

We can help, now for only £1.50 per user.

Resellers can also contact us to explore additional savings.

Commenting on the launch of these special bundles, sales manager Alec Stephens said: “We don’t typically push price-led offers, as our OpEx budget-friendly models are packed full of value and customers are often hoodwinked into ‘deals’ that end up not-fit-for-purpose.

“But so many organisations came to us last year because they didn’t have the cloud infrastructures they needed – and business continuity and disaster recovery is hard to deliver in retrospect! We know that IT decision makers need to achieve more, with less, so we want to ensure their budgets work harder. And, rather than focusing only on short term projects, we can help deliver future-proofed infrastructures, with quick turnaround.”

Offers end 31 March 2021.

To discuss any of these promotions, please call 0333 200 1142, email sales@vapourcloud.com or complete our short enquiry form.

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