In the midst of the coronavirus, the cloud hosting provider, Cloudflare, is offering its services free of charge. It has created a new hub with the assistance of Microsoft, Cisco, Google, GoToMeeting, and others for this purpose. It is called OpenForBusiness.Org. The mission statement reads:
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of many economies around the world. The recent COVID-19 outbreak is having a disproportionate impact on these businesses, who lack the resources of larger organizations to stay open.”
The services include names like Zoho, Google Cloud, Adobe Connect, Urban Sitter, Survey Monkey, etc. The project was organized by Matthew Prince, the CEO of Cloudflare. Other companies have also been invited to supply their services for the collective good.
Cloudflare’s Bandwidth Alliance
Cloudflare was one of the principal founders of the Bandwidth Alliance. In September 2018, certain cloud and networking companies, including Cloudflare, decided to discount or waive data transfer fees for customers. They would obviously not be customers that could afford their fees, but for mutual ones that the partners all shared. Today, the alliance includes 20 partners and is committed to providing a cost-efficient experience for their clients.
The recent offering to the businesses and workers of the world is heartwarming. It is also necessary since secure services are the need of the hour. Due to an increase in remote working, cybersecurity experts have warned that hacking will also increase. This is mostly due to insecure systems at homes that house private documents and files. Hence, the offering to small business owners and individual workers is a necessity.
With over half a million infected by the virus, it is no surprise that the world economy is slowing. However, to save both the economy, and more importantly, the people, gestures like these are required. To keep the ball rolling and work continuing as usual requires organizations like Cloudflare to step up.
Services Offered by the Bandwidth Alliance
These are just some of the services that the Bandwidth Alliance is offering to its customers.
Cloudflare itself is offering 500 seats for Teams. This will allow remote workers to connect securely to corporate apps. Free onboarding has been offered since September 2019 for small businesses.
Google is expanding certain features, including Hangouts and Meet, for current customers. They can now host meetings with up to 250 participants if necessary and stream to 100,000 viewers.
Microsoft has allowed a six-month free trial of Office 365 E1. It has also lifted restrictions to customers on how many users can join a team or schedule video calls.
Alibaba Joins Alliance
Alibaba has also thrown its hat into the ring with the Bandwidth Alliance. It has pledged to waive egress fees, and 100 million API requests. The Chinese tech giant has also pledged to waive 10 TB image processing fees for customers outside China.
The elimination of request fees has been seen as a game-changer by experts. This will allow for massive savings to the customer and eliminate the “complexity in managing storage costs.”
Are You Struggling?
Are you struggling to keep up during this unprecedented global event? The COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous stress on entrepreneurs, families, and friends, and has touched everyone’s life in some significant way.
If you need help deciding on the right technology to use in your business please contact us for help.