Category Archives: Cloud Computing

What is Cloud, in Five Letters

cloud-computing-626252_640 copy

How can five letters leave you so confused, like your head’s in the clouds? Well, when you’re talking about something that you can’t see, is indeterminable in size, and exists “in the clouds,” it’s understandable why people are confused by it. So, we’ve broken down the cloud in five letters:
C, L, O, U, D.

An Explanation of the Cloud in Five Letters (CLOUD)

C – Computing. Cloud, or more formally known as “cloud computing,” is the practice of using a network of remote servers, “the cloud,” to store, manage, and/or process data rather than on a local network server or a personal computer’s hard drive. Read more >

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Dealing with Change: Tips for a Seamless Software Conversion

7K0A0190How many times have you heard the words, “that’s the way we’ve always done it” from a co-worker’s mouth? Most likely, a lot! So when it comes time to make a change—in assigned roles, vendors, software, or processes—it can be difficult! Especially when we’ve grown so accustomed to a certain way of doing things.

In the wise words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

At Black Mountain Software, we understand what it means to ask a county, municipality, school or utility to change. Read more >

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When “Good” Back-Ups Go Bad—Will Your Data Really Survive An Unexpected Loss?

At BMS, we want our tools and services to empower our clients, and provide them with unparalleled functionality and trusted reliability. We strive to craft products that can be counted on to perform seamlessly each and every day. Sometimes, however, our clients face technological glitches that are outside of our control, resulting in unexpected data loss. Some causes of this loss include outdated technology, power outages, or viruses/malware. Regardless of the cause, a data loss can set their operations back days, and sometimes even weeks, thereby costing invaluable time and money.

BMS knows that, while data loss can happen to any client, the resulting headaches are 100% preventable. Read more >

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Hardware That’s Not So Hard

by: Barbara Thomas, Support Specialist and Guest Blogger for the BMS Utility Billing Team

I’m a technophobe at heart. If I even have to plug into a USB connection on my computer, my hands shake. Nonetheless, so many of us are surviving, even thriving in the workplace thanks to devices like computers and printers and digital phone lines. Consider how smartphones have changed our lifestyles and eliminated the need for maps and telephone books and such, saving space and time for us.

Thanks to technology, even more labor saving devices can be really simple to use and can enable quick and accurate data entry and free up time that can be better spent performing customer service with a smile. Read more >

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Why More Agencies Are Putting “Cloud First”

Ccloud-computing-626252_640 copyloud computing is no longer new innovation, and many offices have implemented cloud computing as an integrated part of their infrastructure. Local, state and federal governments are getting in on the action as well, by implementing “cloud first” policies for software installations. And Black Mountain Software is no exception!

A “cloud first” policy means that the vast majority of software applications will be accessed on the cloud. If the installation cannot be performed from the cloud, then it will be installed locally, but only if cloud is not available, i.e. “cloud installs are preferable.”

The reasoning behind “cloud first” policies is simple: the cloud offers a faster time to market, reduced installation and deployment costs, scalability, enhanced security and disaster recovery, and a reduction in risk. Read more >

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How The Cloud Protects Office Data

English: Diagram showing three main types of c...Many organizations and government entities have chosen to store and access their data in the Cloud. But what’s so special about the Cloud?

Well, while most use the Cloud personally for easier access to their data from anywhere, there is also a level of added security that comes with using a Cloud solution for data storage and backups.

Because data stored on the Cloud is accessible to users from any location with internet access, it displaces the traditional server and hard-drive vulnerabilities of data being stored in a single location, making it more secure than data stored on company computers. Read more >

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Why Government is So Quick to Adopt The Cloud

English: Cloud ComputingUsually a late adopter, the Government is more commonly associated with “slow and secure” rather than “high tech and new.” But when it comes to the cloud, more and more local governments and municipalities are taking the leap, and cloud is quickly “changing everything in Government IT.”

We ran across an article in Government Technology about local government cloud adoption, and thought it was an interesting—though lengthy—read.

The article discusses how once counties and cities adopt the cloud for one thing (say, the County Appraisers office), the usability, cost-savings, and quickness encourages them to explore other areas where the cloud would be helpful. Read more >

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New BMS Cloud Platform Comes With New Enhancements

Cloud ScreenshotAt Black Mountain Software, we strive to provide our cloud-hosted government accounting and utility billing clients with the best available working environment that we can.

With the arrival of 2014, it became time for us to retire our local servers that host our clients’ data and begin moving clients to our newest cloud platform. Our newest platform includes greater up-time and performance and the clients we are hosting on it couldn’t be happier.

General software usage on the new platform will not change, but there will be some slight differences with this newer platform that we would like to introduce you to:

The BMS Dashboard – The biggest change with the new platform is that clients now have a single shortcut that opens a ‘dashboard’ from which they access all of their BMS applications and receive helpful newsfeed items. Read more >

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Capital and Operational Cost Savings with a Cloud Solution

High_above_the_Cloud_the_Sun_Stays_the_SameYou’ve probably heard a lot about the “Cloud” and how more cities, schools, and government agencies are using it because of reliability, data backup benefits, and cost.  But what’s the bottom line? In other words, what’s the total cost of ownership (TCO)?  Is it too good to be true, or are there true, tangible cost savings to be had by converting to Cloud?

To understand the true savings benefits, we must breakdown the costs into two categories.  Attention accountants!  This one’s for you: Capital versus Operational Savings.

Capital Cost Savings

On the capital side, there is a variety of savings to be had because of the cost of software and upgrades. Read more >

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Every Data Storage Device WILL Fail! What You Need to Know

Replacing File:Handbuch Webdesign-InternetDate...Believe it or not, “Every data storage device will fail at some point in time. Every server will fail at some point in time. Every electrical grid will experience an outage at some point in time. And, every Internet Service Provider will experience an outage at some point in time.” — Thomas Toblin, 5 FAQs Municipalities Ask About Hosted Billing & Web Billing Software Providers for Utility Billing Services.

These are the realities of data security, and why more people are looking at Cloud-hosted software in an effort to reduce data security risks.

These vulnerabilities – and the potential to reduce them for our clients – are the very reason Black Mountain Software recently selected Amazon as our infrastructure-as-a-service partner for our hosted accounting and billing software. Read more >

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