Real World Windows Azure: Interview with Rhett Thompson, Cofounder of CoreMotives

As part of the Real World Windows Azure series, we talked to Rhett Thompson, Cofounder of CoreMotives, about using the Windows Azure platform to deliver the company’s automated marketing solution. Here’s what he had to say:

MSDN: Tell us about CoreMotives and the services you offer.
Thompson: CoreMotives develops business-to-business marketing automation and lead generation software that enables marketing and sales teams to detect, track, and target potential customers. Our marketing automation suite integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provides business intelligence for customers’ website traffic and email marketing initiatives.

MSDN: What was the biggest challenge CoreMotives faced prior to implementing the Windows Azure platform?
Thompson: We’re starting to acquire new customers and our small, five-person company was outgrowing our hosted server infrastructure. In some cases, our hosting provider would automatically shut down our servers when the load reached 70 percent for more than five minutes, leaving us unable to process customers’ web traffic. Our customers expect near real-time results and, in a worst-case scenario, it could take us up to 14 hours to process data-that’s just unacceptable.

MSDN: Can you describe the solution you built with the Windows Azure platform?
Thompson: We compared the Windows Azure platform to other cloud services providers, including Rackspace hosting and Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), and Windows Azure had the scalability and reliability we needed. We migrated our existing solution by using Web roles to capture website traffic details and Worker roles to host the logic and process the traffic. We are also using Microsoft SQL Azure in a multitenant environment so that we can isolate the customers’ relational data that we store.

MSDN: What makes your solution unique?
Thompson: One thing that is really unique about our solution is that we have developed an account provisioning system that is powered by Windows Azure. Unlike our competitors, we can provision accounts without having to visit customer locations and set up servers and databases on-premises. The provisioning system connects to and installs the CoreMotives solution directly into a customer’s instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

MSDN: What benefits have you seen since implementing the Windows Azure platform?
Thompson: We have significantly improved our ability to scale up and meet demands of high-volume traffic. Instead of 14 hours, we can process traffic in 24 seconds-even during peak periods. That’s what our customers expect and with Windows Azure, we can deliver. We also now have a reliable infrastructure that complies with standards, such as Sarbanes-Oxley and SAS 70 Type II. This means that, even as a small company, we can go head-to-head with industry-leading, enterprise marketing automation companies. The rest of the world is starting to move in the direction of cloud-based computing, and if you’re going to compete in this marketplace, you need to get there fast without compromising the user experience. By using Windows Azure, we can do that and improve our competitive advantage.

Read the full story at: www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000007608

To read more Windows Azure customer success stories, visit:  www.windowsazure.com/evidence