Why The Cloud Works: A Case Study in Payroll Software

With very few exceptions, the majority of businesses today are using some form of technology to help them create, market or manage their products or services. The speed and reliability of the servers and software that they use makes a huge impression on their clients; they want to make that first one, and all future interactions, ones that are remembered in a positive light. By utilizing the cloud, businesses can offer faster service while keeping costs to a minimum. A year ago, that was just marketing speak to pull businesses into the cloud. Today, it’s evident in the operations of leading companies.

In 2010, Paycor, a 550-employee payroll software and processing company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, was facing challenges with the large workload that it was placing on its servers. Clients who were using the software were experiencing lengthy download times and causing Paycor’s servers to run at a 75-80 percent utilization rate during peak download times. Additionally, with upwards of a million transactions taking place on a daily basis, Paycor needed a reliable server that allowed its customer service team to have instant access to all data in order to better serve the clients.

Partnering with HP was an easy decision for Paycor since they had already been using ProLiant for their other IT infrastructure needs. Paycor was among the first to receive the new ProLiant DL980 server and after installation was completed, they began to see an excellent return on their investment. Their payroll software is used to process over 130,000 paychecks daily, and they only have a short time frame in which to get the data processed. Upon completing the installation process, the IT team saw CPU utilization rates drop to less than 20 percent while the peak utilization rate never went above 22 percent.

Since they offer one-on-one customer service with their clients, Paycor saw an increase in customer satisfaction thanks to faster database download times. Additionally, they found that they were saving money and helping the environment with all of the virtual machines that they were able to put on the server. Since they are using fewer servers, they’ve reduced their power consumption, cooling costs have dropped and they need less floor space in which to keep the servers.

Using the cloud for business tasks is great for businesses, especially small ones that are trying to get the most bang for their buck. Cloud computing offers small businesses many savings in that they can use only the services and software that they need, paying the low monthly fees as they build their company. There is little need to invest much money into IT personnel and infrastructure since that is taken care of by the providers of the applications. By adopting cloud computing, companies can save on computer costs since their applications will be on off-site servers, thus there is less need for heavy-duty computers unless the company is quite large and needs local servers to process databases.

All of these benefits have resulted in fast-growing number of companies that utilize the cloud for their numerous benefits. Continued successful implementation of the cloud in small businesses to enterprise –level companies is expected to further grow that number in the coming months and years. This will help companies expand and increase revenue as well as allow for more businesses to be started on shoestring budgets. As this happens, cloud based software and services will become better and new ones will be developed to meet the needs of the growing demand.


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