Online storage is a handy way to share and save information, files, and photos. While it was once seen as useful only to private individuals as an alternative to traditional backup, “the cloud” has become increasingly well known in businesses.

More employees are using personal accounts in order to easily share documents.

Unfortunately, by utilizing what should be an individual account to conduct corporate matters, these employees put company security at risk. Still, many enterprises saw the benefit of using online storage as a handy tool.

Although not all companies are embracing the cloud and all it has to offer, here are 5 companies that used online storage to move their business forward.

1. Xerox

Xerox is best known for their copy machines, which churn out millions of paper copies each year. However, in 2012, the hard copy king decided it would not be left out of the technology loop and Xerox quickly entered the online storage arena.

Online Storage

In addition to moving much of its own platform to online storage, Xerox has also begun adding services for consumers to use. One of the most popular features they have offered is their cloud print, or mobile print, option. This allows users to print documents of photos from their mobile devices to a wireless printer on the network. No client-side software is required.

Xerox has now collaborated with Cisco to increase their cloud technology offerings with services that are designed not for enterprise clients but more for small to medium sized businesses.

These services include hosted communication, cloud backup and disaster recovery, and infrastructure-as-a-Service. Xerox has also unveiled its Connect Key technology. This allows user to scan documents and photos directly to their personal or business cloud storage site.

2. Netflix

Founded in 1997, Netflix quickly became known as the service to rent movies from. With their low monthly fee and no due dates, people became so enamored by the mail order service that it brought death to the rental chain, Blockbuster.

In 2007, the movie company added streaming service to its list of features. The new, instant viewing capability quickly caused issues when they couldn’t keep up. On any given week night, Netflix users account for 1/3 of all users on the Internet. The online library and list of users grew exponentially.

The traditional data center growth pattern simply wasn’t fast enough.

To compensate, the company toyed with the idea of splitting the business in two: one branch for mail order DVDs, the other for streaming. Instead, Netflix turned to the cloud to help keep up with the demand. Online storage is scalable so it easily keeps up with the various users that log on.

3. Kahn Academy

Kahn Academyis a non-profit program that produces free educational videos about math and science topics. Millions of users log on each day to learn more about various science and math topics.

The group started when founder, Sal Kahn, was asked to tutor his cousin’s daughter in math. With three MIT degrees and an MBA from Harvard, he was more than qualified for the job. After videotaping short videos for her and loading them to YouTube, he found that they went viral.

Kahn worked to maintain his own website for several years, however, it fell short due to the level of traffic that it experienced. Instead, he chose to turn to Google Cloud in order to host and develop applications. This allows his growing collection of over 2,000 videos to be accessed by more than 3.8 million people each month with little to no downtime.

The move to online storage has also allowed Khan Academy to let users create profiles and progress at their own pace. In addition to videos, they have access to 1.5 million practice questions.

4. Best Buy

Best Buy is best known for their multinational retail chain of consumer electronics, entertainment software, appliances and home office products. However, the technology super store wanted to branch out online and allow users to make wish lists available to family and friends.

Traditional development and websites weren’t allowing Best Buy designers to do what they needed to do. There were too many things that had to be completed manually, which caused problems and errors.

In order to relieve the maintenance burden from the IT crew, Best Buy opted to move the platform to an online storage facility. It took a few weeks to make the move and once the jump was successful, problems began to solve themselves. The development team was able to transform data in a quarter of the time it originally took, with fewer errors.

With the move to the cloud, Best Buy has been able to launch other applications including: Universal View — recognizes visitor’s device format and adjust site accordingly. BBY Scan — a QR-code generator that allows users to manage QR codes. BBY Offer — real-time app that captures offer data from other systems.

5. Evite

Online storage is the best way for an Internet based invitation site to work. Evite was founded in 1998 and had a small team to keep the brand up and running. Thanks to the addition of premium services, it became a struggle to keep up with capacity planning, server maintenance, and overall hardware costs.

To compensate, the group moved the majority of their services to an online storage solution. By utilizing the Google App engine, the service was able to introduce Evite Ink, which lets users customize paper invitations. It also allowed Evite to create Postmark, which offers premium invitations and announcements to their users.

Evite continues to offer more designs each year. Mailings and design creations are managed by the cloud and allows the team to focus on coming up with more creative invitation ideas.

6. Conclusion

Online storage and computing made possible by the cloud has helped these five companies take their business in an entirely new direction.

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By taking the burden off maintenance and scaling the IT teams, these enterprises have been able to expand their platform and go in directions they hadn’t considered before.

If you’re thinking of using an online storage provider, make sure you check out our cloud price comparison chart.

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