Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Windows Azure Case Studies for PDC 2009 – Part 2

Microsoft’s public relations team published during the Professional Developer’s Conference 2009 53 case studies that contained Azure as a keyword. Following are links to and abstracts of the second 20 of these case studies, which involve the following firms:

  1. Mamut
  2. Persistent Systems
  3. GXS
  4. RiskMetrics
  5. VeriSign
  6. Cast Iron Systems
  7. Microsoft IT
  8. Siemens
  9. Origin Digital
  10. Sir Speedy Centennial
  11. Volantis
  12. Eduify
  13. West Monroe Partners
  14. TBS Mobility
  15. Multivector
  16. Cumulux
  17. K2
  18. Formotus
  19. Zmanda
  20. DigitalDirect

Mamut: Hosting Provider Uses Scalable Computing to Create Hybrid Backup Solution (11/23/2009)

Microsoft Partner, Mamut, provides integrated software solutions and Internet services, including CRM, sales force, logistics, accounting, e-commerce, domain name, e-mail, and Web hosting services, for small and medium-sized businesses in Europe. Mamut chose to implement the Windows Azure platform in order to extend its on-premises solutions with scalable computing power and mass data storage capabilities to create hybrid solutions that will allow the company to offer more services and reach more customers. With Windows Azure, Mamut can now expand its offerings and customer base without investing in additional servers for increased scalability and availability.

Persistent Systems: Software Services Provider Delivers Cost-Effective E-Government Solution (11/17/2009)

Persistent Systems provides software development services that help enterprises and public sector customers enhance their offerings. One of the company’s primary offerings is an e-government solution that helps governments and agencies deliver services and interact with constituents electronically. Persistent Systems needed a way to deliver its solution without requiring local governments to invest in new IT infrastructure and personnel. The company used the Windows Azure™ platform to deliver its e-governance applications on the Internet through a Microsoft® data center. Now Persistent Systems can offer its solution in a high-availability environment while reducing capital and maintenance costs for itself and its customers.

GXS: Developer Boosts Agility, Reduces Costs with Web-based Supply Chain Management Tools (11/17/2009)

GXS was eager to find a cost-effective way to add more detailed, on-demand analytics services to its industry-leading business-to-business e-commerce platform, GXS Trading Grid®. The company turned to Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner MindTree to help develop a solution based on Windows Azure™—a “cloud” services operating system that provides developers with on-demand compute and storage capabilities. Using Windows Azure, GXS expects to speed deployment, reduce customer costs, and enhance scalability.

RiskMetrics: Financial Risk-Analysis Firm Enhances Capabilities with Dynamic Computing (11/27/2009)

RiskMetrics Group’s Risk Management Business delivers risk management services to the world’s leading asset managers, banks, and institutions to help them measure and model complex financial instruments. To meet increasing market demand for risk analysis, RiskMetrics needed to accommodate increasing peak loads on its computing infrastructure for specific periods of time. The company used the Windows Azure™ platform—an Internet-scale services platform hosted in Microsoft® data centers—to provide on-demand computing capacity for its analytics applications. Now RiskMetrics can complement its on-premises capabilities with a flexible, reliable solution that can support bursts in computing activity over short periods of time, deliver enhanced services for more customers, empower innovation, and provide the company with increased business agility.

VeriSign: Security Firm Helps Customers Create Highly Secure Hosted Infrastructure Solutions (11/17/2009)

VeriSign wanted to provide customers who deliver services on hosted infrastructures with the same highly secure encryption technology used in on-premises data centers. The company partnered with Microsoft to provide Windows Azure™ platform customers with enhanced protection for critical business data. With VeriSign® SSL Certificates on Windows Azure, customers receive an added layer of online security, while reducing management and maintenance costs.

Cast Iron Systems: Leading Integration Company Speeds to Market with Cloud-to-Cloud Interoperation (11/17/2009)

Cast Iron Systems specializes in helping organizations connect Internet-hosted (cloud) applications with on-premises applications. When Microsoft announced the Windows Azure™ platform, Cast Iron set out to enhance its Cast Iron Integration Solution with Windows Azure platform connectivity. Using the Service Bus and Access Control Service, Cast Iron created the needed connectors in just one day. Faster time-to-market enabled Cast Iron to supply a timely solution to an urgent need. Its enhanced product can help customers host applications off-premises without concerns about interoperability with on-premises data. With the Cast Iron Integration Solution, companies can now use application data wherever it resides and scale workloads without worrying about overloading the communications infrastructure.

Microsoft IT: Microsoft IT Moves Auction Tool to the Cloud, Makes it Easier for Employees to Donate (11/17/2009)

Microsoft IT runs an online auction to raise funds for United Way during Microsoft’s annual Giving Campaign. Employees donate and bid on items throughout the campaign using an online auction tool created by Microsoft IT. In the last Giving Campaign, Microsoft IT migrated the auction tool to the Windows Azure™ platform so that the tool could scale to meet the demands of campaign traffic.

Siemens: Siemens Expands Software Delivery Service, Significantly Reduces TCO (11/17/2009)

Siemens—a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the industry, energy and healthcare sectors—has built a worldwide reputation for innovation and technical achievement. Siemens IT Solutions and Services developed a system for remote service of more than 80,000 devices worldwide. An additional service enables its users to distribute software packages to devices spread around the globe through virtual private network connections. To make these software updates and installations more efficient, reduce costs, and deliver more complex software packages to more devices, Siemens is now able to use the Windows Azure™ platform for devices directly connected to the Internet. The company now can dynamically scale its global software distribution, while reducing costs, enhancing services, and avoiding significant new capital investment.

Origin Digital: Video Services Provider to Reduce Transcoding Costs Up to Half (11/17/2009)

Origin Digital, a video application service provider, wanted to increase transcoding throughput without increasing capital expense. To gain dynamic scalability within a familiar development environment, the company built an innovative transcoding application called Cloudcoder on the Windows Azure™ platform. The application will reduce compute costs and database administration time as well as expedite moves into new geographic markets.

Sir Speedy Centennial: Publishing Giant Creates Innovative Web Based Service for Small-Business Market (11/17/2009)

Two decades ago Quark changed the course of traditional publishing with its QuarkXPress® desktop publishing software. Today the company provides publishing solutions to customers around the world across multiple channels. To reach more customers in the huge but fragmented small-to-midsize business market Quark wanted to offer a service combining the flexibility of Web-based computing and the richness of PC-based software. It used the Windows® Azure™ platform and Microsoft® development tools to create Quark Promote, a service through which customers use professionally designed templates to create customized marketing materials that can be picked up at a neighborhood printer or received by mail. The service lets Quark tap into the Web-to-print market, helps business partners increase revenues, and provides customers with an easy, affordable way to create high-quality marketing materials.

Volantis: Mobile Services ISV Gains Seamless Scalability with Windows® Azure™ Platform (7/20/2009)

When a customer likes your solution but wants you to store 30 terabytes of data to seal the deal, it is time to look for seamless scalability solutions. That was the thinking of Volantis, a developer of innovative solutions for mobile carriers. The company’s Ubik.com software makes it simple for users to point and click to create custom Web sites that are optimized for mobile devices. Not wanting to go into the content hosting business, Volantis worked with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Infosys Technologies Limited to integrate its solution with Microsoft Azure Services to take advantage of Internet-based “cloud” storage for customer Web content. The company estimates that by integrating its solution with Azure, a large telecom company could save U.S. $30 million in rolling out a new service for users by not having to purchase, deploy, and manage a new storage infrastructure.

Eduify: Internet Firm Speeds Time-to-Market by 40 Percent with Startup Support, “Cloud” Computing (7/15/2009)

Eduify was founded to provide students with educational technology that can assist them in researching topics faster and writing better. To create its solution, Eduify received assistance as well, from Microsoft® technologies and services such as the Azure™ Services Platform, the Microsoft BizSpark™ ecosystem, and Windows Mobile® 6. Eduify took advantage of these technological and business resources to create a software-plus-services solution that delivers online writing help to students anywhere, anytime, with functionality and a user experience not possible from the Web alone. At the same time, Eduify gained a 40 percent faster time-to-market, U.S.$500,000 in development and other savings, and easier access to the largest market of mobile device users.

West Monroe Partners: Partner Develops Interactive Map in Just Two Weeks with Leading-Edge Technologies (7/10/2009)

West Monroe Partners needed to develop an interactive map and get it hosted within two weeks to meet the needs for the Taste of Chicago festival. Using the Windows® Azure™ operating system and the Microsoft® Silverlight™ browser plug-in, the firm delivered an interactive, printable map well within the tight timeline. It did so with low up-front costs, and created a user experience that will add to a positive, progressive image for the festival.

TBS Mobility: Mobility Software Provider Opens New Markets with Software-plus-Services (7/9/2009)

TBS Mobility is a leading provider of enterprise mobility solutions. Its flagship software TaskMaster is used in many applications—from solutions that replace paper forms for service organizations to devices that monitor energy consumption. Since it was founded in 1993, the company has used Microsoft® technologies to build its products. Until recently, all its solutions were installed in-house—customers would run the software from their own servers. To expand the company’s reach and flexibility, the management team at TBS Mobility decided to offer a hosted product, based on Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 data management software. Since it began offering the software-plus-services solution in 2006, the company has reduced its average deployment time by 75 percent, expanded internationally, and become more efficient. It’s now planning to use the Azure™ Services Platform to reduce its costs.

Multivector: Software Firm Achieves 50 Percent Growth with Software-plus-Services (7/9/2009)

Based in Braga, Portugal, Multivector is a software developer that specializes in solutions for advertisers and publishers. Since 1998, it has earned a reputation for innovative software that helps property agents and car dealers reach hundreds of thousands of customers. A long-term Microsoft® Partner, Multivector recently adopted the software-plus-services approach to implement a solution called AdClip. Advertisers continue to host Multivector software, but they only need to post their advertisement once on their local management software for it to become available on their own Web sites. And from there, to a global audience of publishers who can tap in to new revenue streams by embedding pages of advertisements within their own Web sites. Due to this flexible approach, Multivector revenues have grown by 50 percent.

Piryx: Startup Shaves Two Months, $20,000 Off Development (6/11/2009)

New company Piryx wanted to change the way political campaigns are managed in the United States—but first it had to change the minds of investors who said Microsoft® software was too expensive for a startup. It did so with the help of Microsoft BizSpark™ technology, which provides access to Microsoft development tools [including Windows Azure], key parts of the Microsoft application platform, and production use rights to Microsoft servers. Piryx saved two months and U.S.$20,000 on development—“huge for a startup,” according to its CEO.

Cumulux: Firm Cuts the Cost of Phone-Based Data Access by 60 Percent with Cloud Offering (2/26/2009)

With more mobile workers depending on smartphones to stay in touch with work, enterprises are eager to find an easy way to give workers secure access to line-of-business (LOB) applications through their mobile phones. Cumulux helps companies meet that need with mPortal, an application that integrates LOB applications and presents the results through a smartphone interface. To broaden mPortal’s appeal, Cumulux converted it to a “cloud-based” service using the Azure™ Services Platform. With a software-plus-services approach, workers get anytime, anywhere access to business data through their phones, and their companies reduce costs by about 60 percent by avoiding on-premises installation. The cloud approach reduces mPortal deployment time by 75 percent and accommodates unlimited scalability of customer data. Microsoft® data centers offer high levels of data security.

K2: Software Firm Moves Business Processes and Line-of-Business Data into the Cloud (1/22/2009)

K2 is a software maker that has helped more than 1,700 organizations create process-driven applications that improve business efficiency. As the software market evolves, K2 has been proactively assessing its strategy for deeper support of software-plus-services, which integrates on-premises software and cloud-based services. Working closely with Microsoft, K2 used Microsoft® SQL Data Services [now SQL Azure] to create a proof of concept that demonstrated its ability to integrate its tool set with a robust, enterprise-class cloud data-storage service. K2 completed the integration in just two days and built the order-processing proof of concept in one day. By integrating SQL Data Services with its tools, K2 will be able to expand its market to include customers that have off-premises storage needs. Customers gain a flexible, affordable, and scalable storage option to support new applications.

Formotus: Forms Automation Company Uses Cloud Storage to Lower Mobile Data Access Costs (1/22/2009)

Formotus helps make mobile workers more productive by giving them ready access to line-of-business data. Using Microsoft® Office InfoPath® 2007 and Formotus Software + Services, companies can quickly and cost-effectively deploy forms-based business applications that run on Windows Mobile® devices. Formotus recommends Microsoft SQL Data Services [now SQL Azure], a cloud-based data storage service, as a safe, cost-effective data storage solution. By choosing SQL Data Services with Formotus Software + Services, customers can get mobile applications up and running in a day, eliminating the up-front cost of creating a massive storage infrastructure and expensive software development work. Field workers get anytime access to business data without the need to establish virtual private network connections. Businesses get pay-as-you-grow, on-demand scalability without the capital expense of physical storage.

Zmanda: Software Company Enriches Cloud-Based Backup Solution with Structured Data Storage (1/19/2009)

Zmanda is a leader in open source backup and recovery software. It found that small and midsize customers especially were having trouble providing backup and disaster recovery solutions for rising data volumes. The company created Zmanda Internet Backup, which backs up files and applications for the Windows® operating system to on-premises storage or to cloud-based storage using Microsoft® SQL Data Services. With SQL Data Services, Zmanda can give customers secure access to their data from anywhere in the world. The software-plus-services delivery model has given Zmanda new opportunities to cost-effectively expand its services. Customers get unlimited scalability, uninterrupted availability, sure-fire security, and pay-as-you-grow economy for their long-term storage needs.

DigitalDirect: Solution Provider Uses Cloud-Based Data Services to Enable New Online Experiences (1/13/2009)

DigitalDirect addresses the needs of online consumers, publishers, and advertisers for a knowledge-based, visual discovery experience that greatly improves on today’s primarily IT-driven methods. While this new approach could change how the world accesses Internet resources and services of all kinds, the company realized early on that conventional database solutions were not well suited to its needs and would be costly to deploy at Internet scale. After evaluating alternatives, DigitalDirect selected Microsoft® SQL Data Services, part of the Azure™ Services Platform, for limitless, “cloud-based” structured data services in the exact form that the company needed. As a result, DigitalDirect can focus on marketing its DiscoveryExperience offering worldwide, without having to provision or scale database and storage resources.

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