By now I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “The Cloud”, but really what does that term mean to you? How do you react when you hear it? I’ve heard it said that the cloud is just someone else’s computer and to a certain extent that’s an accurate description, albeit a very simplified description. Everyone is in fact participating in “The Cloud” unless your church doesn’t use computers or has no access to the Internet. When you send an email, it traverses the cloud. When you browse the web, you’re accessing websites that live in the cloud. In fact, if you have a smartphone you have ready access to the cloud from that device in your pocket.
While working with a client last week to help them spin up a new Microsoft 365 tenant, I began to wonder if churches are using their cloud subscriptions to their fullest extent. In this case the church wanted to start their transition to Microsoft 365 for the sole purpose of Teams. They plan to begin using Teams to meet as a staff weekly, then roll out Teams for committee meetings, and then eventually use Teams for small groups and Bible studies. The possibilities are endless really. It’s worth noting that Teams is much more than a video conferencing solution. For this client hosting their email in 365 is secondary to using Teams. The email migration will be scheduled later.
Another client is looking at moving to a virtual office concept where the staff would work 100% of the time from home. The challenge in this case became traditional phone calls. How would the organization maintain traditional telephone service with a phone number and toll free number that has been widely published and known publicly for decades? In this case the client is already using Microsoft 365, so we recommended the add-on Microsoft phone system option. Once the migration from the on-premise PBX to Microsoft phone system is complete the staff will be able to receive and place outgoing calls right in their Teams application.
How is your church using the cloud? Is your church management software hosted? How about your email? What service do you use to access your email? Where do you store your files? Do you use a chat application to communicate with your staff or members? Do you participate in or host online web conferences? When the need arises to make a traditional phone call, how is your voice transmitted to the person who you called?
Drop us a comment below and let us know how you use the cloud.