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IRIS moves hosting service to Microsoft Azure

IRIS Software has migrated its software hosting service to a new Microsoft Azure platform to cope with the surge in demand for online access to tax and practice applications.

14th Jul 2020
Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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IRIS Hosting migrates to Microsoft Azure
iStock_Hosting server_NatalyaBurova

The IRIS Hosting division has nearly doubled over the past two years to cater for around 8,000 users at 800 firms, IRIS chief marketing officer Nick Gregory told AccountingWEB. And 146 of those customers have come on board since March, he added.

“When Covid-19 hit and everyone headed home to work, IRIS put out a fast track fixed-price service we would implement for you in five days,” he said. “A third of our new hosting clients went for this option.

“Existing users are being migrated to the new platform on the same price and terms they have today and new users will be on similar terms for the foreseeable future as well,” Gregory said. 

The hosting service is available for IRIS users along with customers on PTP, Keytime and other applications, who were previously handled on different hosting systems.

Gregory pointed out that accountancy firms “can host any application, regardless of what vendor they’re using, or host their own apps”.

Long-term migration plan

Last year IRIS expanded its activity in the hosting market with the acquisition of Hosted Accountants.

IRIS already has a strong relationship with Microsoft’s Azure platform for its own cloud-based applications. “For us [the migration] was in our original plans for the Hosted Accountants acquisition and we’ve been working on it since then.”

Switching hosted customers to a standard, single sign-on platform will give them significant advantages for scalability and reliability, along with access to Microsoft Office 365 “out of the box”, Gregory explained.

“Hosted Desktop and Hosted Accountants used the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol, which is pretty much the Windows 7 experience. Users would be stuck with that.” 

In addition to in-built security with single sign-on access and support for mobile devices, the Office 365 email and word processing tools already link into the IRIS Accountancy Suite for mail merges and invoicing, he added. Documents created within Microsoft Office also integrate into the IRIS Docs portal.

Hosting here to stay for IRIS

The pandemic has given IRIS Hosting a shot in the arm, but the company is banking on continuing demand for desktop functionality in the cloud.

“The chains are off for having to do work at your desk in the office, but while people may want full a cloud offering, there’s so much functionality and value in desktop software that we’re going to see a mix-and-match environment for some time,” Gregory said.

“Microsoft Azure offers the tools we need to make that seamless. We’ll maximise desktop investments as you move functions such as tax calculations from the desktop up to the cloud so users can embrace both worlds and move up to the cloud at their own pace.”

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By ikh
16th Jul 2020 16:52

Short memory syndrome. The microsoft outage in Europe last year caused Iris to run at best slow and presumably in the worst case scenario not at all. Press releases from Iris after that time revealed a thorough investigation in to the links with microsoft and how to prevent them having the same effect again.

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