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2011-03-17 21:01:15

Cloud computing: turning one real estate firm’s pain into cloud 9

Anyone who has bought or sold a home in the last few years went first to the cloud.  Recently I considered moving and spent hours researching home prices in my neighborhood, looked at countless photos of homes for sale and bookmarked the ones I liked (and the ones I can’t afford).

I expect the real estate sites I search to be fast, stable and that my requests for information to be responded to quickly.

So I  immediately felt the pain that Keys2Day, a Baltimore Real Estate firm, experienced as their website and email kept going down. Now Keys2Day had sought a hosting company that specializes in real estate hosting and lead generation but great reputation notwithstanding, clients were complaining….and no business can allow that.

The Keys2Day Real Estate Team in Baltimore, Maryland was struggling with a complicated IT setup. They were using multiple computers, all of which were configured differently. Their email and website were hosted by Heritage Web Solutions (Now HIT Web Design), a hosting provider.  The constant interruptions of service led Keys2Day to move their website, which they moved to BirdView, a company with an extensive background in real estate lead generation.

But some providers make leaving a painful process. (I marvel at how many web design and hosting companies create obstacles thinking, erroneously, that making leaving a pain will force clients to stay). The move from HIT became so complicated that Syreeta Saunders-Keys, owner of Keys2Day decided that, “we did not want to have our website and email providers linked ever again because Heritage made moving anything painful.”

The cloud has become the latest ‘have to have’ IT buzz. This morning, the Miami Herald headlined “Riding the Cloud to Success” where the forecast for the South Florida tech community is “Cloudy with the chance of an acquisition.” Cloud based companies are launching new products daily and the choices can be overwhelming. (Click here to read the 4 key elements to look for in a cloud provider.) But, as this client learned, not all providers are equal. Providers have to offer not only ‘exciting, have-to’ products but have a track record of proven performance.  Web dependent companies, such as Keys2Day, cannot afford the down time that interrupted service causes and they come to realize that every IT problem takes owners away from their core competence- in this case, selling homes.

InfoStreet started rebuilding Keys2Day by initially deploying an email system and took over dialogue with both Birdview and Heritage to simplify the transition process. Today, Keys2Day enjoys a full intranet (a  private and secure cloud-based environment) built by InfoStreet.  “We all come from big business backgrounds so we easily understood the value of having a central company environment where we can find everything in one place. We needed an intranet and InfoStreet delivered,” said Jeanine Whitehead, a member of the Keys2Day team.

Tyrone Keys, Head of IT for the members of the Keys2Day team, sums up the transition. “In the end, InfoStreet made sense of our IT and just made things simple. They are a vital partner for us.”

Keys2Day found a solid partner and is now, forgive the pun, on Cloud Nine.

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